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Home Grown

Domus Adultus. Hippo Bar, Thursday 27th August, 2009
by Bic Parker, Special Correspondent

I am early yes? You are early replied the French looking girl in the red beret in the doorway. What’s going on? I inquired. She said little and ushered me upstairs. I entered the Hippo, Garema Place, Thursday night. I wanted to see what was on offer in the way of entertainment.

Live music. I’ll be honest. The first act had started while I was practising my schoolboy French downstairs with Piaf, and from what I could tell, there was a Kraftwerkish feel to it, a bit like the autobahn from on the roof rack (that might not be their fault) but hey, they were doing it.

The vocalist, whilst I could not hear well enough due to the bass in the fold back, added a different dimension, and I found a sort of hypnotic, mononotonous, musically repetitious zone in which I listened. Worth the experience. I found them listenable. And good on them for sharing.

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Gertrude’s Diary #124 – Gertrude Rising

I’d like to thank everyone who wrote or called with their words of support following my last rather bleak post. I actually found the whole experience quite cathartic, and I want to reassure everyone that I’m okay. I have my dark moments (and I probably always will) but, perhaps counter intuitively, I also benefit from my personal experience of pain and sorrow. While trauma does not necessarily confer compassion, humility, respect or sensitivity, I do think that my experiences have given me a fuller understanding of the importance of these qualities. The anger and hurt are symptoms of a resentment that grows when this bigger truth is not acknowledged; namely that a great hurt that cannot be mended must instead be transcended. (I’m with Plato on this one: the unexamined life really isn’t worth living.) In my case, transcendence has come with a lifelong interest in the behaviour of my fellow humans (clinically they call it hyper-vigilance, but let’s not split hairs), which has in turn helped to inspire this blog.

Thus having cultivated the ability to notice and laugh at the world and all its nonsense, I offer the following observations for your amusement. [Read more →]

Question Answered

On the 7pm Project and elsewhere on the telly tonight, the question is being asked: ‘What is the best way to sell Australia to the world’

Obvious ain’t it?


Border Life etc. @ CCAS, Gorman

Belconnen Arts Centre Open Day

Rock Paper Scissors @ CCAS Manuka

Chiffon #103. Mushy Ideas


How is it hanging? I myself have not stopped. I am bumping into this little mean eee the other day whilst down in one of the most understated places that the South Coast has got, that is the Araluen (you must stop and go mushrooming) Valley. There are of course nasties that exist and I don’t think eating any phungi agrees with some people. I am sure you have heard stories about people who had bad experiences form eating mushrooms. Such as Little Red Riding Hood.

Personally I am well and truly over it. I think I am having too much fun living in the cold hard reality that is my life and I prefer to pretend it is real. However I like to know I can cut it. It was a laidback day that just seemed to rush by repeatedly for a few hours in the afternoon.

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Bootleg Sessions

Bootleg Sessions @ The Phoenix. Monday 24th August, 2009
by Bic Parker, Special Correspondent

The Phoenix has a décor much like Steptoe and Sons’ lounge room, with lounge chairs, entertainment area, as well as a bar. It makes for a cosy little retreat.

The Bootlegs at the Phoenix in full flight is a sight to behold. And tonight was one of those nights with one of the best line-ups I have encountered. Rachel, the M.C. kicks this evening off promptly at eight o’clock, introducing Mister Greg Carlin – A man and his guitar, interesting lyrics and a nice opener to break the ice and get everyone in the mood. Not that they needed much prompting.

I was ready for more and I was intrigued to see the next act setting up slide guitar, acoustic slide, steel slide, and banjo, hi-hat, tamborine, kick drum. There was a sound check, next thing, this gentleman starts ripping the place apart with some very pure bluegrass and classic blues, with reference to blues men of the past and present. His name was the Amazing (and he was) Brainboy. His style dictated an almost manic, frenzied beat. Did I mention he played a mean harmonica as well! I looked around the room and could not see anyone who was not digging this seriously committed musician. Before to long it was over he had been playing for fifty minutes. I did not notice, I was so involved. [Read more →]


S.A.D. Sessions, Corroboree Park Hall, Ainslie, Friday 21st August, 2009
Bic Parker, Special Correspondent

Rock and roll and or any genre of musical endeavour gets pretty serious when artists from other places come together in one place to record for history their sound, and that’s what occurred at Corroborree Park on Saturday night. Eight o’clock was kick off time and the assembled mass sat quietly allowing the musicians to fine tune the equipment. A quiet unassuming humble sort of guy (Drew Walky) wearing glasses sat down and without a word started strumming and before long the whole room had been taken under the spell of musical notes and sensitive lyrics that eddied about the studio.

A most amazing exhibition of vocal dexterity followed in the form of Mal Webb who enthralled and cajoled the appreciative audience, providing a repertoire of wit and unusual lyrical structures. I was laughing (which I have to admit is very unusual) along with the rest of the audience who reacted to this versatile and practiced artist. This bloke was doing what Rolf Harris did with a wobble board but this guy was doing the same thing without a wobble board. Very entertaining (must see again).

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Three Kings

King Curly, Folkus, Fri 14 August 2009
by Zeke

The Folkus Room recently hosted the current King Curly touring model, in one of their last Australian shows before undertaking a month long American tour.

Steve Appel, Zoe Hauptmannn and John Hibbard gave a delightful ninety minute performance to an enthusiastic crowd of friends, fans and relatives and with consummate ease showed why they are held in such high esteem.

Old favourites, such as Family Man, I Am Coming Back (In A Revenge Song) and The Bumblebee Has No Home sat comfortably alongside equally impressive new songs, including the opener, Airport Hotels and Beast Of The Blue Mountains.

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B Mused

Merry Fest @ The Merry Muse, Friday 14th Aug, 2009
by Special Correspondent, Bic Parker

B stands for balls. Once again I found myself with nothing particular to do on Friday night so with out any hesitation I jumped at the opportunity to go back and experience the Merry Muse at the Polish Club in Turner.

I did not know the full line up. After listening to the last act tune up first, the first act came on, the Fire and Rope Band (as far as I know a one-off performance). Curly B (stands for biceps), formerly of the O’Hooligans with his deep Irish baritone voice singing ballsy Irish immigrant anarchist ballady songs.

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S.A.D. Sessions Part 2

Gertrude’s Diary #123 – Silence

I asked myself why I’ve lost the inspiration to write this blog. I took the question into my listening silence and an answer came back: because there is no room here for the most consuming areas of my life. Those truths that are not entertaining nor light-hearted. That are not amusing and have no relevance to the broader readership. That are personal. That are idiosyncratic. That are irrelevant.

I fear that if I wrote about those truths here you, dear reader, would scroll quickly down to the next story. Or worse, you might read and feel sorry for me. Or bored. Or contemptuous. But still they clamour for attention, like small dogs yapping in a tiny backyard, trapped and miserable.

I could tell you about the grief that is remade each week when my daughter goes to her father and the house that felt like home becomes a hollow place filled only with reminders of her absence. I could tell you about the tears that I cry unwitnessed, except by that little rabbit who will climb onto the back of the lounge, sniff my face with his velvet muzzle and delicately lick the tears that linger there. And how that brief moment of inter-species contact can be enough to make me smile and get up and get on with the day.

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Chiffon #102. The Big Question


What is the point to anything? What are we doing? Why are we alive? What am I? Who are you and why? What do you want? Why do we do anything? Why do you want to know?

What is the big question?

I went in search of primitive people, only in my mind (it seemed safer), and I gave thought to their needs and concerns.

I daresay primitive man had need for food, drink and shelter and his day may have been dedicated to overcoming obstacles that stood in the road to achieving those goals.

His kids would not have had the same concerns. Shelter, food and water were provided. I guess the kids would have perceived different obstacles that stood in the way of them achieving the same goals of food, water and shelter, such as getting enough of the food, gaining approval and therefore being sheltered adequately (be it primitively). They had time to improve on the old man’s technique ever so slowly (and here we are today) and I wonder just how improved (convoluted) survival has become?

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Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen. Dead Men Tell A Thousand Tales Tour – The Street Theatre Sunday 12 July 6pm show
by Shelley

Knowing this was a CD launch tour for Mikel and the Gentlemen’s third album, Dead Men Tell A Thousand Tales, I was expecting lots of new songs and I wasn’t disappointed. Most of the new CD’s tracks were presented during this fabulous, full-on, fun, frequently macabre, cabaret-style musical comedy gig. With marvelous costuming and set design, extraordinary storytelling, magnificent music, bizarre humour, splendid singing, amusing sound effects, endless innuendo, clever lighting, way over-the-top theatrics, outrageous accents and hilarious physical comedy, it was certainly a satisfyingly sensational show and a delightfully complete evening of entertainment.

Mikelangelo, the Balkan Bull, is the group’s star vocalist, the evening’s guitarist and charismatic showman extraordinaire. Sporting shiny shirts and equally shiny shoes, he presents a magnetic, slightly melodramatic, distastefully greasy-sleazy-cheesy, yet incredibly charming, nightclub singer of unclear Eastern European origin.
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