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Take Your Medicine

Medicinal Sunday, The Front, Sunday 26th July, 2009

by Alice Russel-Wallace

Sunday evenings are apt to become lost in a maelstrom of organisation and regret: between backwards glances to the weekend past and dubious anticipation of the week ahead, the quiet time that is Sunday soir can get lost. Wouldn’t it be lovely if there were a tonic for this? If some traveling medicine man could provide a cure for your aching head and a salve for your overwrought nerves?

Roll up, roll up, ladies and gentlemen. Lookee see what I have here. For you, yes you Sir with the impending deadline. A dose of my fine Medicinal Sunday Patent-Pending Cure-All Tonic will do you the world of good! And you, Ma’am, with the dark eyes that speak of a stomach churning thanks to yesterday’s hangover and tomorrow’s 8am meeting. I guarantee that a tablespoon of this will get you bright and bushy tailed before Basil Brush can say “Boom Boom”. Yes indeedy, my fine tonic, Medicinal Sunday, will unfurrow that brow and throw your cares out the window. Step right up, ladies and gents, to skip your way back out into your world…

But this is Canberra, and in these parts that medicine man is known as Min Mae. On Sunday she soothed our collective brows with Medicinal Sunday, a tonic comprising in equal parts the talents of The Brothers Grim and the Blue Murders, Alice Cottee and Fifi Noir.

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Dave Rovics

Dave Rovics, touring from America, sang his own beautiful and uncompromisingly political songs and some wonderful left classics in a great performance at the ANU yesterday, 30th July.

Rovics’ writing is strong and simple in the best way, not at all polemical but rousing of the heart and mind.

The songs in this relaxed, warm and generous performance included one he introduced with the story that a BBC radio producer had been called before the organisation’s board to explain why he had played it. I was expecting maybe anger, extreme obscenity, a call to revolution? No, it was a moving, human song of a Palestinian teenager whose love, grief and despair turned to violence. Apparently the producer’s offence was allowing a glimpse of the view that terrorists are human beings with a past that explains (not justifies) their actions. Telling the human story behind the issues is Rovics’ strength.

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Fourplay Review (#3)

FourPlayStreet Theatre 18 July 2009

by Ashley

It has been over a year since Fourplay last visited the little ol’ Street Theatre but the wait was well worth it for the sounds of the awesome – perhaps orgasmic – four piece string quartet. For a band boasting their new CD, Fourthcoming, they played a lot of material from their previous album, From Here to the Future, however this reviewer was not complaining.

The band themselves are an intriguing mix of characters – Tim Hollo choosing a black T, black trackiedacks and black socks, sans shoes, as his performance attire. Not that this seemed to bother anyone; I am of the opinion that once you have reached a certain level of expertise and success in your chosen field you can pretty much do what you want.

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Gertrude’s Diary #122 – White Rabbit

I’m late, I’m late, etc.  Again.  If our editor Loadedoggy were the Queen of Hearts and this was her tea party than I expect I’d get my head chopped off.

Unfortunately, my life is so very, very boring, that I really don’t have much to interest you.  For instance, readers of  Culturazi are probably not that interested in the new recipe I tried out this week.  Lemon, polenta and almond cake, with macerated strawberries and cream.   Very heavy.  Could possibly be used to beat someone to death if you didn’t want to eat it.

Or, I could tell you about my paid employment last Tuesday when I went to Bunnings at Belconnen and counted things.  I’ve worked on stocktakes before, most notably at Dick Smith Electronics where I learned the joys of counting resistors, transistors, LEDs and other little fiddly things that – just to make life easy – you’re not actually supposed to touch with your bare hands.   Stocktakes are usually fun, generating a kind of after-hours camraderie that makes the hours fly past, but the Bunnings stocktake was a very serious affair.  We were warned that if we made a counting error more than once we’d be asked to leave, but I wasn’t concerned, being as I am fairly confident with my ability to count things.  Multiplication and division are another story, but straightforward addition has never been an issue.

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The Pressures of Performance, The Cold Reality

Gentlemen Sing, The Front, Wed 29th July, 2009

Special Correspondent, Bic parker

Last night being Wednesday the twenty ninth I attended a gig with the purpose of writing a review about the musos. My task began about four when I dropped in on my mate. He was busy preparing his song list and tweaking his axe which is industry torque for practise. I don’t like to job drop but he runs this website that I am writing for as well as other music industry related activities. What to do!? Obviously, one of two things, the right thing or write the thing. I’ll do both.

I have never really given much thought to putting myself behind a mic and performing. We all admire people who can, and make it an enjoyable experience at the same time. My hat must go off to the promoters of this event at this particular venue. The way this gig was presented complimented the atmosphere making it a personable experience where one just relaxed.

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The Doctor Delivers

Dr Stovepipe (Merry Muse, Friday 24 July 2009)

by Zeke

With the help of their many friends and fans Dr Stovepipe (Jim Sharrock, Pablo Shopen and Ed Radclyffe) launched their debut CD, Hip Tonic, at the Merry Muse recently.

Drawn from the ranks of The Fuelers, Dubba Rukki and The Horse’s Leotard, Dr Stovepipe are a true gem in Canberra’s local music community. Their affection for blues, ragtime, work songs and bluegrass is obvious – and they deliver all of these styles with great conviction.

They displayed their considerable vocal and instrumental skills to a large enthusiastic crowd and moved effortlessly between excellent original material and well chosen covers.

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Coffee Bitch #66. The Starfish Deli, Batemans Bay

Coffee Bitch

three and a half beans

The Starfish Deli, Batemans Bay

Wasn’t sure if it was till or table service, so I was somewhat amused to receive table service standing at the till. 1 min 17 seconds. Not bad. There are a number of cafes here where you can sit within spit of the Bay, enjoy the glint of sun reflecting from the clear waters and gaze dreamily at those tollgate islands.

Sometimes I wonder how many location scouts have acquired an image of these roiling for a pirate film to be.

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Chiffon #100. Celebrating the Moonwalk

Forty years ago, the Moon, or should I say the moonwalk, was invented by a man called Neil Armstrong, and a bloke called Buzz Aldrin. Speculation over the moonwalk’s origins as well as everything else still abounds.

Michael Jackson would have been ten when Neil Armstrong did his thing for mankind and it took another thirty years before whacko Jacko showed the world how to do it on earth. He got high just recently, high enough to touch the sky, leave the planet for good and surprise surprise. More people are getting rich not from the so called greatest event mankind has ever undertaken but from the remnants of an alleged pedo who had a thing for a lot of things.

It’s always been a guaranteed payday for the handlers of these individuals, star performers dying, and as a result generating shiploads of free publicity and lies, gossip, rumours, as well as memorabilia that is never remembered. What does it say about people and their degree of sincerity and or appreciation of life?

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Vietnam Letters #45

Postmark 21st April, 1970

Mate Jock,

This is just to let you know that myself, Ron campbell, and Race Ranson will be having a few drinks together on Anzac Day and we were wondering if you would be able to come down home for the day, that is if you have nothing important planned. I have a large flat now and it’s no trouble to give you a bed if you wish to stay overnight.

Give my parents a ring if you do decide to come down, as I will leave arrangements with Mum so that you will be able to find us on that day.

If you are able to get down here before Thursday, such as Wed. night, then just contact my parents or call in if you can remember how to get there.

The phone no. is 52301 CLEGGETT.

We hope you can make it for that day,

Ron Cleggett. [

S.A.D. Sessions #1

The Wedded Bliss, Hashemoto, Vorn Doolette. Saturday 20 June 2009, Corroboree Park Hall, Ainslie

The S.A.D. (standing for Seasonal Affective Disorder) Sessions are totally acoustic performances that are recorded live and, whilst I had seen all three of these acts at least once before at events like Canberra’s National Folk Festival, the Australian Blues Music Festival in Goulburn, and at the lovely Corinbank, the SAD Sessions proved to be something QUITE different.

There was a new performance arrangement at the Corroboree Park Hall with the stage set up on one side and delineated with a red curtain arrangement. Chairs were arranged in rows in front of the stage and there were groups of small tables with chairs spread around the rest of the room. There looked to be adequate seating but as more and more people arrived there was more and more scrounging for chairs. It was a great turn up and it must have been very close to a full house. The doors had opened at 7pm and the music started just before 8.30pm, which allowed plenty of time for catch-up chat, soup-with-bread eating, first (and second) drinks and lots of general milling about. MC Adam Hadley kicked off the first session by explaining that they were being recorded and gave clear instructions about mobile phones and so on before introducing the first act, The Wedded Bliss.

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Fire on The Front of the Hill – A review or how to dig yourself a hole and fall in it

Fire on the Hill and Cuddlefish @ The Front, Thursday 16th July, 2009

by Dani

These things happen but why they always happen to me, I wonder… And you probably wonder, what the heck I´m talking about. Well, after the 23rd or so  Culturazi newsletter it happened that I became a bit unattendant, believing to know the Presidente´s blablubb and small prints anyway and just checking out gig infos. Clever as usual I happily applied for the ‘free’ double pass for the above mentioned concert and felt blessed a fat lot when I got notified of my first prize. So I went to Edgar´s in order to preheat before the real fire, not knowing what I´ve let myself in for.

Later at the Front I was happy to see Cuddlefish, the actual reason why I wanted to go there in the first place and flabberghasted by their effect on the crowd. I think it was the first time at a pub that people look at me full of animosity (not that it was the first time I had people examining me with animosity) cuz I was having a chat with friends instead of worshipping the band like everyone else (apologies at this point, I`m probably spoiled since I happen to enjoy listening to Beth´s and Nigel´s extravaganza almost every weekend). [Read more →]


The Heroines

Present: Jim Boots, John Griffiths, Sharkie

Our guests are Holly, Imogen, Paul, Dan and Henry of The Heroines (formerly The Gods of Love).

Click Play Audio to play podcast. Click here to download

If you’d like to download the podcast, tap this URL: http://the-riotact.com/~john/insban/pod117.mp3 into iTunes or your media player or whatever.

There is a facebook fan page for people to marvel at here.

This link is for people who have podcasting software which you can find here.

Recorded on Tuesday 14th July, 2009. Track list and more pics after the jump

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True Originals

FourPlayStreet Theatre 18 July 2009

by Amy Dowler

Being used to seeing FourPlay in dingy pubs and bars in Melbourne (last time was the Espy front bar of all places), seeing them perform in the rarefied air of the Street Theatre was quite a different experience.  At first I wasn’t convinced they were that well suited to this more highbrow venue, but as the night went on such musings became irrelevant: the band was, for the most part, utterly compelling.

The set was a mix between covers and originals and had many highlights, mostly from amongst the originals – the harmonies of Trust and the humour of Stick it Where the Sun Don’t Shine spring to mind.  Humour was in fact a major feature of the show, and not just during the more outlandish covers (as for example Australia’s second favourite song of all time, Killing in the Name of). [Read more →]

Gertrude’s Diary #121 – More Drivel for the BlogEating Monster

As well as this (sometimes late; so sorry) weekly feast of slightly cynical, inconsequential trivia, I also occupy my urge to write with variously poignant or even creepy tales.  Remind me to tell you some time about my gothic horror novel set in the too-quiet streets of the inner north of Canberra.  Very scary.

So you can imagine my dismay when Wildflower recently decided to adorn my computer with girly stickers.  I’m trying to channel a brooding darkness and my eye is caught by the lurid colours of unicorns, butterflies and copious love hearts, with captions that cry Star Girl and Friends Forever.   They’re so sweet they make my teeth hurt.

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Polish White Eagle Club, Sat 13 June

by Rosie Fleming

I’ve been listening to a bit more Dylan, and a bit of Joan Baez interpreting him, as I’ve written this review. Great sound, but nothing like the real thing / live thing really! It was a fantastic night at the Muse – cold out but deliciously warm inside, as Craig Dawson, The Lenders, and Sanjiva de Silva entertained us all. Bit of a treat for Dylan lovers, and his work is so diverse, that was a big crowd of us…

There was poetry and pleasure as Craig did the early acoustic-flavour Dylan, and then Sanjiva played another roaring version of him. The Lenders were solid backing and performers in their own right – they kept us engaged and entertained. Good night, lots of audience involvement as well. I haven’t heard live versions of Just Like a Woman and the likes of – It’s all over now, Baby Blue, Lay Lady Lay, Shelter from the Storm, All Along the Watchtower, Like a Rolling Stone and more, that gave me such a buzz in a long time….

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