Jonneine Zapata

My friend Fiona sent me this live clip one day a couple of months ago, having discovered Jonneine on a record label she likes. Fiona’s eyes were wide and I think her comment was something along the lines of ‘Jesus. Who is this?’.

After watching the clip, which isn’t very good quality, but is quite captivating, we both bought her album that very afternoon, and my birthday celebrations this year are already planned around a show Jonneine is playing at the Annandale.

The album is dark, like mid-era PJ Harvey, with lots of sex. Definitely one of my favourite albums release so far this year.

This short break is brought to you by Themselves.

I selected this little gem, Themselves performing live in Utah, because it showcases the radness that is the MPC1000, as well as the vocal talents of one Doseone. And ladies? He is easy on the eye.

Actually, if you like that, and your attention span hasn’t been destroyed by 140 character dialogue and half hours of advertising-injected television, check this out also. More Themselves, Themselves on Themselves, plus some live stuff.

Cat-sitting: My Forte!

I have a friend. We’ll call him Pete, because his name is Pete.

I have known Pete for over ten years. We both like cats and cider and hats and taking photos. Sometimes we hang out and take photos of cats, while wearing hats and drinking cider.

That is a huge lie. We’ve never done that.

Pete recently moved near me and I have visited him all of once.

This week he asked if I could feed his cat, named Eli, a couple of times while he was in Perth.

I agreed to for several reasons. First, because it’s on my train line, secondly, because Pete’s cat has a face, unlike my cat, so I thought it might be neat to look at a cat with a face and lastly, because I am a nice person and it is nice to help friends.

Last night was the first night I had to feed Eli. I was pleasantly surprised at how close Pete’s house is to the station when you don’t walk in the wrong direction for ten minutes to begin with. The first time I went to Pete’s house, I walked ten minutes in the wrong direction. WHILE I HAD A GPS IN MY HAND. The less said about my map reading skills the better.

I went around last night and opened the door and there was Eli. With his nose. And a facial expression that said ‘Shit. YOU ARE NOT MY HUMAN!’. Then he ran away. So I did what any good cat-sitter does. I took photos of myself in various places around Pete’s house and I posted them on the Internet. BECAUSE THAT’S NOT CREEPY.

I left, satisfied that my help was going very well.

Tonight I went back again. The walk seemed even quicker this time, as I strutted through the suburb like I owned it. I got to Pete’s, let myself in and could find no sign of Eli, except for an empty food bowl. I filled his bowl and gave him some fresh water and then I went and sat on Pete’s couch and I zoned out. I zoned out for I don’t know how long, all slack jawed and droopy on his couch. Then I came to and wiped away the drool pooling in the corner of my mouth quickly, because I had a horrible thought. WHAT IF PETE HAD A WEB-CAM? Not suggesting Pete is creepy, of course, but some people do have web-cams in their house, for security/sexy reasons.

I quickly stood up and went over to Pete’s CDs, which I rifled through feverishly. Because going through some-one’s CDs looks a lot less conspicuous on tape than sitting slack-jawed on their couch. Right?

It was at this point that I thought, no. No Julia, you need to go home.

Here is where we must pause for me to explain something. I live in a perpetual state of chaos. An example? About a week ago the wallet that holds my coins broke. So rather than buy a new wallet, I just carry a giant pile of coins at the bottom of my bag, which shocks me occasionally when it spontaneously pours out on say, the floor of the train I am on, or all over the floor in the very open plan office I work in.

I regularly do things like put my iPod headphones in, but forget to put the iPod in my pocket and will happily walk to the train station, unaware I am dragging my iPod on the ground behind me.

This is my existence … and now back to me exiting Pete’s house.

I stepped out his front door, and realised there was a very large, vicious dog trying to get at me through the fence. I scowled at the dog and reached back into the house and turned off the lights, before pulling the door closed. As I pulled, Pete’s door handle flew off and went sailing precariously close to the top of his fence and the waiting jaws of the vicious attack dog. Thankfully, it fell slightly short. In my panic, I ran forward in the dark to find the handle, forgetting, of course, about my iPod headphones and super long shoelaces and I proceeded to trip over a combination of both.

So I’m in dark, on the ground, the dog is going nuts, I’m hissing a string of words that would make a grandmother blush and I’ve broken Pete’s door.

After I found the handle, I quickly jammed it back on and I got the hell out of there. Turns out I didn’t out of there fast enough because one of Pete’s neighbours came out onto the street and looked at me. Looked at me like I was a burglar. I hope my expression conveyed that I was not a burglar, I was just a klutz and a rather incompetent cat-sitter.

Love, Poverty & War – Christopher Hitchens

Books

The Hitch on driving a red Corvette on Route 66:

I also came to the painful realization that was to recur to me times without number. A shiny red Corvette can be a boy magnet, alright. When parked, it drew to my side many garage mechanics and hotel doormen and learned young black men and polite old roadside coots who would inquire after the finer points and details. When in motion it would summon cops from deserted streets and vacant landscapes. But it appeared to leave the female sex quite unmoved. Could it be a fault in the design? Perhaps the silhouette? I began to brood, and in fine brooding country.

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A convincing rainbow-coalition band with a very strong sax is doing its stuff, and the tourist hour seems to have safely passed, until a terrifying skull-faced blonde detaches herself from a gaggle and whacks me in the features with a star wand. “How ya doin’?” I always think, What kind of question is that?, and I always reply, “A bit early to tell.” She gives me another smack with the wand and holds it up so I can see the number “50” emblazoned at the center. “It’s mah birthday!” Christ. Does she know about the Corvette? – Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty & War, pgs 158 and 160.

When I read this, I couldn’t help but imagine what would have happened had Hunter S Thompson joined The Hitch in this trip.

D-Bomb

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This is me and my dad aka D-Bomb, Big Dave, Grumps and Dad.

This is Dave of the ‘Julia stop playing with your undies and keep your eye on the ball!’ fame.

The Dave who once saw Steph so upset about the Tooth Fairy possibly not being real, that he hid a note for her that said ‘I am real. Love, The Tooth Fairy’, but he wrote it in his distinct, all caps handwriting.

The Dave who danced to Blondie with Steph when she had boy troubles.

The Dave who has broken his back twice and didn’t see a doctor about it, but who cries at his daughters’ weddings.

The Dave who had three daughters and tolerated all manner of stupidity and wore the happy face underpants he was given for Father’s Day without so much as a word of protest.

The Dave who offered to pack my school lunch for me when I was running late once and when I opened my lunchbox at school, I found that he had carefully spread Vegemite on VitaBrits, rather than Vita Weats.

The Dave who showed up to numerous school and uni award functions covered in cow poop.

The Dave who taught me to drive a manual like a pro.

The Dave who takes me to the cricket.

The Dave who is obsessed with his grandson.

The Dave who once drove from Orange to Sydney to Canberra to Orange all in one day to deliver me a computer.

The Dave who can make the best pig noises ever.

The Dave who says stuff like ‘I love Annabel Crab, I like reading her blog!’

The Dave who will go and see any movie my mum picks, and if he doesn’t like it, goes to the front row, stretches out and snoozes.

The Dave who cuts it up on the dance floor to Black Sabbath and Beastie Boys.

The Dave who bought me surprise tickets to the first ever Homebake in Byron Bay when I was about 14.

The Dave who took me to see AC/DC on the first night of uni, rather than me having to sit through the getting to know you dinner.

The Dave who took one look at me when I cut all my hair off myself and said, after a beat, ‘Maybe you should put your hat back on…’

The Dave who is obsessed with good tea and afternoon naps.

The Dave who has put his nose the the grindstone no matter how tough things have gotten.

I love The Dave.

Things the Grandchildren Should Know – Mark Oliver Everett

Books

E from the band Eels, on working with Tom Waits:

I immediately get off the phone and get my old four-track cassette recorder out of the closet, only to learn that it records at twice the speed of Tom’s four-track recorder. I bring this up to my recording engineer, Ryan, and we realize the best thing to do is to look on eBay for the same model Tom owns and we find one immediately, which is sent over the next day. I record my parts on to two tracks of the cassette tape and leave the other two tracks for Tom to fill. I send the tape to him with detailed instructions of what I want him to do. He ignores my instructions completely, accidentally erases my lead vocal track and sends me back a tape of him stomping on his bathroom floor, yelling and crying like a baby. You don’t tell Tom Waits what to do. It’s great. He’s very apologetic for erasing my vocal and offers to do yard work at my house to make up for it. I, of course, am thrilled by the whole thing. Tom Waits erased my vocal – Things the Grandchildren Should Know, Mark Oliver Everett.

Possible Worlds + Eels + Wuz

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I have been up to a whole bunch lately, mostly photography-related after school activities.

My good friend Kate works for The Festivalists, who put together, amongst many other things, the Possible Worlds Film Festival, which is a festival of Canadian film held annually in Sydney. I didn’t know Possible Worlds even existed [though no fault of the guys who put it together, I tend to live with my head under 80 thousand tonnes of rock and miss most awesome cultural events], so when Kate asked if I would like to volunteer my services at some of the screenings, I was über excited at the prospect of meeting some new people, getting out from under that 80 thousand tonnes of rock and seeing some Canadian film.

I went along to the opening night at Dendy Circular Quay, and saw the film Chloe. It was a saucy thriller.

Before hand, I took some crowd shots.

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Here we have filmmaker Nelofer Paziraand Possible Worlds Artistic Director, Matt Ravier.

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They are both ridiculously photogenic.

I loved these girls! How much fun do they look like they’d be? I bet they make up all kinds of awesome uke songs.

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I went along again on one of the last nights and saw Leslie, My Name is Evil. It was a strange film, I don’t know that it quite got where it wanted to go, but it was a really interesting film to watch, kind of a pop art take on the Manson family.

After the screening, all the hip kids headed to the after party. I followed them.

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And followed them.

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And followed them.

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Then we partied.

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And projected.

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And partied.

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After getting over that and editing a trillionity billion photos, my dear friend, and fellow Canonista, Fiona, asked if I wanted to shoot the Eels last night. I like Eels, I wanted to shoot them, so I said okay!

Here’s where I fan boy out a little bit, so please, just let me have a moment.

The gig was at the Enmore Theatre. The venue where I’ve seen some of my favourite musical acts ever. A huge old theatre venue. And here I was, with a sticker slapped on my jeans, which allowed me access to the photo pit in front of the stage. 16-year-old Julia would have died and gone to heaven. 27-year-old Julia came close. It was so exciting, and shooting from the pit is AWESOME.

Here is my pit pass, as modelled by me, assisted by The Wuz:

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The support was Laura Imbruglia, who I’ve never seen live before. She was both a delight to listen to and to shoot.

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Then came Eels. We had a three song limit and those three songs were short, darkly lit and performed by only two members of the band. I didn’t let this phase me, I was all ‘Canon 500D? Let’s do this shit!’. And we did. I was pretty happy with the results I got, but as bummed as all the other photographers when we got booted out of the pit and turned to discover the whole band on stage with awesome red and orange lighting. Them’s the breaks.

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The rest of my pics are over at my Flicks, yo!

Road Trippin’: Sofala

After Wattle Flat, Mum and I headed to Sofala. Sofala is a strange town. It looks like a set for a movie about the gold rush, and it’s easy to forget that people actually live there. There were a few times I suddenly realised that I was on some-one’s front porch, standing a few inches away from their lounge room or bedroom window, taking a photo of their roof. Sorry about that Sofala-ians.

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After I was done annoying the locals, we headed for our final destination, Hill End. It was on this leg of the trip that I discovered that Mum has a scary secret and I began to fear for my life…