Bad Pharmer

From a quick band shoot I did at the end of last year of local Polish punk band Bad Pharmer the afternoon before their final gig in Canberra and they up and moved to greener pastures in Brisbane (the shining lights of Bris-Vegas!)

I purchased a copy of their EP Where The Wild Bison Roam ... it's very tidy and contains some great tracks :-)

How's about lead singer/bassist Ania and that yellow couch!

 

Links

  • Listen to Where The Wild Bison Roam

There will be a little period where my posts here will not necessarily follow chronological order as I find interesting things to post from the period I didn't update the blog at all ... does this really matter? Likely not... I just figured I'd let you know anyway smiley


Words await an eye's caress

letters strewn with love
words await an eye's caress
as breath brings forth life

A haiku for today.

Image is one of a series I created in 2011 to document the hand-crafted books of Fran Ifould. This particular book was titled Enviroroulette and you can view the complete series here.


Blackstar

After a long silent time
With a friendly peck on the cheek
She was off to the ocean with it's crystal blues and sunsparkl'd azures

He cleaned up after she left
The glasses and tobacco
plates and sheets
papers and her hair
Draped on pillows
creating casual arcs on the tiles
debris on the shore as after a rough sea

Emerging into sunshine
hot and beating
to return to the bench
with a cordial
and a smoke
the litter of butts surrounding
testimony to the time spent there last night
and one...
the first one

the one when she first arrived
happy and expectant
hair cut and straight
new skirt 
and totally gorgeous
with lipstick

a touch remained on the single butt
the first one she kissed
before the blackstar
emerged later from behind the moon
and played it's game of scramble
and miscommunication
and churned joy into turgid silence 
and distance

The first one
with lipstick

he cried then
when his eye caught it
hot tears of hurt and love
for their fragile hearts
each now cracked
and from where?
How?
He dare not seek a why and be forever searching
for something he would never find
for the blackstar 
in wicked interferences conspires never to reveal

It has it's methods own
The blackstar
honed on our fears
with twisting happen-stance and evil synchronicities
bent on undoing the fine tapestries
of our lives and dreams
Plans? Pfft! She told me once
[and not very long ago!]
She had met the blackstar before and is no stranger to it
Perhaps she called it something else
We've all known it
sometime
somewhere
with someone we love

Begone!
Enough of the blackstar!
Just fuck off back to wherever you came from.
[He uttered it forcefully enough to cause a magpie to tilt and peer]
[OK it wasn't quite screamed but it had intent!]

In the heat of the sun
breeze hot and crisp 
it left him alone
and he was
alone

alone.

He thought of her then
driving down the mountain
Her hair fragranc'd with his shampoo
The road a focus 
for the singular cogency that road tripping delivers
angling to arrive 
at land's edge
the coast
and the promised purity of the ocean's kiss
the refreshing salty cleansing
and momentary exhilaration
of the heart
only the sea's immersive embrace
as only the ocean can
and will
when nothing else works...

Swim strong my love.

[8 February 2014]


The Fountain

Shortly after
In a musky twilight space
when they are spent
and the breeze takes their sweat
in cool inhalations
He listens to her breath grow long and slow
and lies there quite awake

In this head of his
in amongst the crowded visions
and vivid tangents
the textures and tutorials
the voices and aching cries

There is a space
centred but not quite central
where it is quiet
in a circle of olive cobblestones
there's a fountain
its waters the source of his tears
its sound his deep chuckles
its sparkling clarity his love

The air is warm and humid
and in the dusk beyond fountain's light
a garden overgrown beyond it's humble plan
with arch and arbour
paths and bramble
Wild patches riotous with colour blooming where her light has shone

and in that dusky darkness
with its slow breathing rhythms
he reaches out
and together with her sleepy interlocking fingers
takes her hand in his

(December 2013)


Vale Friday

Friday Carasmello Lushpuppy 1999-2013

Last Thursday we made the decision to have beloved family member Friday put to sleep. She had been with us for 14 years

Friday had been suffering a degenerative spinal condition and went downhill rapidly. She was an elderly dog and up until a month ago had been going on hour-long walks as she had every day of her life. However we were not prepared really for just how quickly she deteriorated. She in many ways defined our family's relationship and her passing is deeply felt. I'm OK now but was a mess last week.

The veterinarian came to the house on Thursday morning. She was put to sleep after being surrounded by those who knew and loved her. The end was very quick. She was buried at her second home at the out-laws farm overlooking the hills she loved to roam.

Bye sweet girl ... you'll be missed.

 


Gettin' the Groove On

I'm shooting a wedding this afternoon ... it has a Retro theme. I thought I'd best try on my outfit this morning and there was music playing and there was a bit of camera gear about and here are some of the results.

The sky-blue linen safari suit was tailored for my father in Penang in 1972 ... it's going to be a fun afternoon and evening Gettin' the Groove On :-)

PS ... I know I've been vey slack in attending to everyone's blogs ... life here has been very full and I'm only just starting to get on top of that ... I'll be around to visit soon :-)


Dead Pegs

The first printed compilation of my Dead Pegs project ... a copy of which is currently hanging in the Members Show at PhotoAccess in the Manuka Arts Centre.

dead_pegs_collage

I've been long fascinated by these pegs ... single-function objects that have reached the end of their useful lives and left to decay in the pebble-field beneath the clotheslines ... I've been photographing them on and off for about 6 months now ... time to get them out there ... both prints measure 420mm x 720mm.

Dead Pegs was printed on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Ultra Smooth - a fine matte paper with excellent colour depth

Also in the show is a print of my Starfield I picture printed on Baryta Photographique, a fine grained lustre because I thought a small degree of gloss would increase the depth of the picture ... given it's our galaxy after all :-)
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Both pictures were printed by Stephen Best of Macquarie Editions in Braidwood.

Links

 


Thrift Shop - (Workin' The Fields Version)

On Saturday night I played host to the wonderfully talented Jodie O'Regan and Emlyn O'Regan who were in town for their Kitchen Table Tour. As a host I got to make a request and I chose Macklemore's Thrift Shop ... Emlyn and Jodo got to work on an arrangement and this recording is the first live crack. Kids were asleep in an adjacent room hence the hushed kinda approach ;-)

I was aiming for nonchalant dish-hand and I think I pretty well hit the target. I join in toward the end ... it was fun :-)

For anyone who wants to see me deconstructedly animated and vocal ... this is the clip for you ;-)

May I present Thrift Shop - (Workin' The Fields Version)

Jodie and Emlyn arrange Thrift Shop

Links:


In Review - Fine Young Animals (Bacon Cakes, Alex Richens and Joel Davey, Dylan Hekimian, Lucy Nelson, Buck et al)

The CMC presents Fine Young Animals @ The White Eagle Polish Club - 20th September 2013

I arrive late and unannounced. Nigel and Beth inform me I have to pay as they already have a reviewer for the night.  This is a first(!) and there's an awkward moment as it's eventually revealed that the night's allocated reviewer has in fact just left at this, the half-way mark, with 4and a half  acts remaining. I offer to take the reins and you my reader may get not one but two reviews this week...  a part one and a part two if you like. This is Part Two. Beth stamps me gently and I offer to pay my way for half the door charge seeing as I got there late...  late like I do just about every gig anyways ... it's a strange introduction to the gig.

There’s a function on in the restaurant and the tables are full and generating happy noises ... I grab a Zhiv-ee-yetz and have a quick chat to Ania whose Polish Punk band's album 'Where the Wild Buffalo Roam' I purchased recently.  It's a very tidy EP with some respectably tight tracks and as I’m talking I hope I'm not gushing too much.

I head into the hall. Oh ... there's hardly anybody here! I suddenly feel a little guilty for getting in free but that's pretty much all I do about it.  I take a couch, Bacon Cakes are on and I'm back in the 90's with shoe gazing introspection... dressed in slack,  dark street wear with a Mod-roundrel kick drum,  there must be something terribly interesting on the floor because that's all anyone in the band is looking at.  The exception to the drab fashion (I hear someone refer to it as 'understated' but I think she's being terribly kind) is a slight girl dressed in fine black and white polka dot dress with the whole straight fringe thing going on...  She's playing the tambourine with a lazy, melancholy sway which would be fine except the tambourine is to be found nowhere in the mix.

Tonight's house music is by The Doors and while Jim writhes away in spirit Lucy Nelson takes to the stage with a ukulele.  Red floral print dress over bright red tights and black boots, the uke looks at once demure and purposed. Lucy puts it to good use with nicely crafted ballads with 'a beginning, a middle and an end' unlike the DJ she's decrying in the first number.  After lulling us with upbeat, Lucy launches into reflective and here something nasty happens to the tuning.  It's as though I've had a go at tuning the instrument...  it's almost there but noticeably off and a quick call to her friendly professional tuner puts everything to rights again. Lucy's show is quiet but her songs fill the room. A few people come in and sit respectfully down, lifting their chairs so as not to scrape.  I hear the Polo’s air-conditioning for the first time ever...  (It's that quiet!)...  And its gentle white-noise hum serves as a pillowy doona to Lucy's gentle songs.

John Lennon's 'We All Shine On' booms out and Buck plays along on the piano, warming up behind the curtain...  I feel perhaps I was a little unkind to Buck last time I reviewed him (spoiler ...  it doesn't last)

The unseen playing works.

Alex Richens, Joel Davey and Nick Churchill come on ... three-piece drums, cello, guitar and voice. Southern blues feel with a voice that sounds to me like a call across a wide river - strong, curled and mellowed by the moister air over the water's surface. I rack my brain for the reference. It's just there...  Oh it’s so fluid and watery, only a cello can do that...  that watery swirl...  that suck of life toward an inevitable dark. I have it! It comes to me in a flash...  I'm listening to the love-child of Gomez and Ed Kuepper. There's even Mark Dawson on drums, well not him obviously but someone who sounds a lot like him. Ed Kuepper...  I know who I'll be listening to in the morning :-) The trio weave rich landscapes of hope, power and above all... love. Breaking rains and sandstone escarpment lit by the golden storm light that comes with a setting sun. Most enjoyable and I am so taken by the music I take no notice of what the trio are wearing.

Dylan Hekimian takes the stage...  There are lots of acts tonight in keeping with the theme 'Fine Young Animals’ and everyone's playing four or five tracks...  kind of like a degustation...  it’s a lot for a reviewer to take in and I suddenly suspect the first reviewer simply became overwhelmed like I’m suddenly feeling ... but I digress.

Dylan... solo... faded red t-shirt, long dreads and acoustic guitar, fresh from the rainforest... well, after a shower perhaps and healthy food. Songs delivered with punch and conviction but the in-between dialogue incongruous and softly spoken as though he lacked the conviction of the beliefs expressed in song. He's young at heart too...  with the expressed beliefs of the young in love... perhaps I'm simply jaded and cynical (I am as it happens rather aware of this)...  Perhaps it's Dylan's song for his girlfriend where he doesn't care what she thinks of him but he wants her to look at him like a hero... I literally say WTF? My friend who has chosen this moment to  pretend to be less cynical and jaded than I challenges me to, for just  a moment, remember what it was like to be so young,  in love and enraptured (and I suppose actively seeking hero-worship) but I find it hard. In fact I find Dylan's well crafted guitar songs and ingenious percussive interludes (methinks for a moment he has swallowed a drummer's soul) lightly mismatched to the person delivering them. I ponder for a moment the nature of artistic delivery... that as artists we temporarily inhabit the person of those we wish to be.

Oh and here’s Buck! I have a flush of doubt. I wonder if my first review of Buck, skewered as it was by his leather half-tights, was perhaps a little judgemental of Buck and his inspired songwriting and piercing observations. He's talented, there’s no doubt. He's impossibly slender and he's lost the leather half-tights tonight and of that I’m glad...  I can focus on the man and his music. Wow, he really is a bitch. What last time I could forgive or pass off as a nervous ironic understatement is demonstrated this week as quite intentional. OK...  I'm wandering along in a funny space of watching someone I've previously reviewed...  I'm wondering whether my review is an accurate portrayal or whether I got it all wrong...  I have this benefit of the doubt thing happening for Buck...  maybe I was a bit harsh?  Buck's got this great Ben Folds thing happening...  piano driven commentary and then Buck says... "I was on Community Radio this morning, it was sooo mediocre"... he lost his audience there. It‘s the wrong thing to say not only because it offends his audience; Not only because it’s rude because well for fuck's sake he was the radio station’s guest. It was rude because it totally lacks any sense of retrospective irony. Perhaps if he’s being self-effacing and labelling himself mediocre as humour ... maybe then? I thought, at that precise moment that everything I had written previously was spot-on.  That Buck, uncannily brilliant as he is, lacks the compassion of his audience.

Mixing tonight was someone I didn’t recognise and while he performed splendidly given the variety of acts and changing instrumentation, I thought there were highlights missing from the drum brasswork particularly during the rich soundscapes produced by Alex, Joel & Nick ... I could see the complexity but I couldn’t hear it and I really wanted to. The aforementioned tambourine was lost. Regular mixer Dave Howe was mixing it up over at In Canberra at Gorman House which is where, I suspect, many of the CMC’s usual Polo crowd were tonight.

Thanks to Nigel and Beth and the Polo for the opportunity to bring this to you.

Links


SHOOT!

Well, I'm on the cover of SHOOT! Magazine's September 2013 (Volume #003) edition. I'm also the featured artist and there's an interview in there too. As far as I know it's web only but it's lovely that someone has gone to all this effort over mine and the other included artists' work though the editior assures me a hard copy is on it's way to my post ofice box as we speak! I'm quietly chuffed and I think he's done a great job with the layout. It is somewhat funny and totally cool to see a whole stack of your pictures laid out like this in a mini-collection. Clicking on the cover image will initiate a download of a web resolution (~8MB) copy of the magazine via safe WeTransfer from the host site. If, for some reason your browser doesn't like that I've made a copy for download here ... oh Yeah and the mag is written in German but my interview is in English ... lucky eh?

 


Sly Fox Coffee

Meet Patrick. Patrick is an entrepreneur. Earlier this year he set up  a coffee machine by one of the main cycleways running from the Inner North of Canberra (where I live) into the City ... he makes very good coffee and I always stop for an espresso (that settles in the glass like tap Guinness!) if he's up and running when I'm cycling past. I recently stopped by to take some photos of him ... I think this is my favourite.

Patrick called his coffee spot Sly Fox Coffee


 

But it's about more than the coffee ... it's about a social hub ... a little networking space. I've met a stack of different folks down there and stopped for a quick chat or hello. Sometimes I'm a little late and I stand at the table straddling my bicycle while I sip a delicious coffee ... afterward, the ride into town just flies past as the caffeine kicks in by the time I've reached David Street.

There's often an assistant, Byron or Roley. There's a bicycle mechanic, Rex, who's there on Tuesdays and I could make lewd suggestive comments about the delights of an early morning lube but I will refrain today.

The Sly Fox is blossoming and I've noticed an increase in custom as the morning's warm. Great coffee - great vibe.

Patrick also had his girlfriend's little pug pup with him ... hi name's Bob ... everybody say Awwwww... :-)

Links:


Moss Effect

Spring is officially here! We've had rains and warmer days and while out walking with my camera on Saturday afternoon I saw the moss has geared up for sexy time.

Mosses as you may or may not know reproduce sexually via spores not seeds There are male parts, antheridia, and female parts, archegonia. They can occur on the same plant but are most likely found on different plants. The antherozoids or sperm are motile, swimming using two theadlike tails and are chemically attracted to the archegonium where fertilisation occurs to create a zygote. It is then that the second phase of the moss reproductive cycle begins with the formation of the sporophyte or spore plant. An interesting fact is that the sporophyte grows out of the archegonium of the female plant by cell division and is effectively a parasite for this phase. The sporophytes have a distinct four-part structure comprised of a foot, a long erect stem called a seta with a capsule at the top which contains the maturing spores. A peaked hood called a calyptra sits atop the capsule. A single sporophyte may contain anywhere between four and one million spores depending on the individual species. It's the sporophyte structures that are prominent in these pictures ... these ones are about 15mm tall.

Not that I initially set out to craft a post on moss reproduction this morning but I thought it may ... you know ... add something to your experience if you knew vaguely what you were looking at. Besides I find it fascinating and it is Spring after all.

You may also notice I'm using a new gallery technique to disply the pictures ... like it? Do let me know :-)

 


A Little Piece of Me

wpid-lushpup_120421_...wordless..._web-1.jpg

A Little Piece of Me

Dark

I feel it's pull

tangible as a kiss never realised

Cold

the space between

whirling sheets of colour

Light

a piercing clarity

precision at a price

Warmth

strangely within

Life

unfurling

a fern glowing against shadow

(August 2013)

 

 


In Review - Elisha Bones

In Review - Elisha Bones at the White Eagle Polish Club 16th August 2013

With Tully On Tully, Borneo with live art by Houl / Walrus / Micha

Oh Crowds.

It's 10:15 by the time I arrive ... I'm either late ... or arriving at the perfect time ... tonight I'm both ...

It's busy! There's a veritable hipster torrent coming through the door and I work my through the crowd to the front right of the stage to get a look at the band ... it's Tully on Tully up from Melbourne.

... it's toward the end of  their set (I was late) and Blue ... bathed in cyan ... driving forth with passion if not precision  Tully on Tully are powering along in alt.rock anthemic style. They have groove and melody and a gyrating lead who shimmies and struts her way back and forth along the stage and whips at the crowd ... who stand quite impassive. If a rocky headland had actual will to rebuff the incessant wave ... the scene would play like this. Sure, there's a whoop at the end of songs and some polite clapping but they do - not - move! In fact they show nothing to suggest that the band playing (and playing well! Well, OK maybe they need to work on their changes a bit…) not a few meters hence affects them in any way. Quite a few are checking their phones and I feel that while they are present in body their minds are elsewhere ... clouded perhaps?

Sometimes it's not the bands but the crowd that interest me and this one is interesting, exhibiting a coarse granularity expressed in small clusters. There's an interconnectedness ... these folks know each other but I'm thinking not well in real life. A sub-cluster has gathered around a large mural being created by artists Houl, Micha and Walrus ... a man clad in a wolf's pelt is taking form over a snow white mane. I find myself coming over all poetic

Gnarled
As a tree it's twisted roots worked with spirals
He looms above her adorned in fresh slain Canus ... the pelt now working ajar
She was attracted by his dead eyes ... recently Wolf's
their promised abyss
his hands soft as fur with hint of polished claw
now revealed to a hideous protruding boniness that hovers over her chest
A snow white mane overflows and frames
her hammock at once a spiralling hypnosis and cutlass both
arms upstretched in supplication
patterned with clumsy tattoos from a different life
the well-meaning incantations a nursery rhyme now
as the roots below darken to a Mesmer’s curtain

It's a work in progress, Tully has finished and so I head back to the bar

The crowd ... there's a retro-chic op-shop style about them too ... a young Liz Taylor glides past in a faux-Roman pleated blouse, nose-ring shining aboard an aquiline nose,, a waist-coated gent sporting sixties spectacles and neatly trimmed facial growth stands out not at all ... nor do the grey suede buckled and heeled ankle boots ... in fact they're each repeated again and again ... I feel like they've all just watched Thrift Shop and found Vinnies yet they’re all slink but no dance ... I'm thinking a public service grad cohort and I'm feeling poetic again ... it happens;

Standing toward the bar her dark bob sliding into a faded pink tee
Slender with a white swan across her chest
Pleated short skirt
Over black tights,
light olive and cream check
tonight proudly aired
still bearing her cupboard's kiss

I resist the urge to mention the wardrobe-creased skirt to the girl, buy a beer instead and head back inside. The crowd's still there ... for a brief moment I thought them into a dream  ... but no, they're still here as Elisha Bones take the stage. The band is confident and precise. Rolling thunder as before an approaching storm emerging in a fresh rainblast of driving dance-core and throbbing beat ... it's a great opening number but does the crowd move? No it doesn't! Fuck me what does it take to move these people? I dabble in generalisations ... I ponder whether their only experience of live music is a flat screen of youtube coz that's how they're reacting. Again, they whoop between tracks but during they're largely (e)motionless ... the music providing soundtrack to a social media experience. The band, energetic, complex and driving with guts and spirit is reduced to so much blue wallpaper.

Meanwhile the mural, created directly on large sheets of adjacent congruent ply, progresses;

Grain as ectoplasm
a tree peeled - the medium
The Knots
Linear like life itself
Emanate brown from the earth, passing through festy spiralled roots
Dallying awhile in her now arched torso before escaping her belly
and
slipping through the fingers of his searching hand
make their aetheric ascent
Roots become feathers
she is watched over by a discarded hawk
(or a militant finch)
I cannot tell

 

There's a moment in Elisha Bones’ set when they're channelling Jeff Buckley ... fucking Jeff Buckley ... I quite liked them up until then ... but then I grew up in a time when Buckley was a CD that went on at every party ... at least then you could go outside for a smoke or walk up to the stereo and physically remove it ... he doesn't do it for me ... he never has ... I've tried. Buckley aside ... Elisha Bones are a polished and well-grooved music machine who performed wonderfully despite tonight’s less-than-interactive crowd who do give it up for a deserved encore as though their phones have told them 'now is the time'.

I’m still there for the packup and curtain-folding dance and meet the lads from Borneo (Sydney) … the first band who played tonight while I was off elsewhere … I apologise for not being there to review their gig and they give me a copy of their EP ‘Is This A Demo?’ to review instead J

At first listen, it’s rich and jangly and the opening track contains changes that bring a remembered smile to my face for their abruptness and nerve … I’d be interested to see them rip it up on stage … next time boys :-)

A strange night but nonetheless a rich and enjoyable one. Thanks Nigel & Beth and the CMC. Wallpaper wrangled by Dave Howe.

Links:


...flying before the storm

My dear companion
hears the piping call
of gulls
flying before the storm
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