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Category Archives: music

A whispering Polish lift? Where?

There must be thousands of Polish-speaking elevators in Poland right? But now there’s one in Brisbane.

When you arrive at either the ground floor or the first floor a soft female voice whispers the floor number in Polish.

Then you notice it’s a Schindler lift and there’s a gentle reminder of mid-20th century Polish history.

This Schindler’s lift will be officially launched with a wide range of entertainment, performances and attractions and a variety of children’s attractions all day next Sunday June 26 at the Polish Club, 10 Marie Street, Milton, as part of the Milton Community Festival.

Special fund raiser for the weekend is at noon on Saturday June 25: a vintage fashion gold-coin auction in aid of local animal rescuers and the Cat Cuddle Café Red Hill.

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Start up the MP3

Moski JoTell me you like Mumford & Sons, Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water and John Lennon’s Imagine and I’ll tell you to listen to new Brisbane start-up Moski Jo’s new album, which I purchased tonight on Bandcamp for a little over A$21.

Critically reviewed on Triple J as “one of the strangest music videos you’ll see”, it’s a refreshing dip into music history.

At 9:18pm last night they posted on FaceBook: “The Moski Jo Album. Out Now. We are goin’ travelling for a little while. Tomorrow Jaymee and Mikky head to Laos, Aleks soon to Denmark and Dave and Marc who knows where, strange, inspiring times.”

Main driver Michael Josephson (Mikky) thanks drummer/partner Jaymee and his Mum and sisters Sally and Alice, “and all my family and friends who have supported me”, including his Dad, our mate David who passed away: “And thank you Dad. I love you and miss you. This album is dedicated to you and I will make you proud in my life.” Together they hiked the Himalayas, now that’s a dad-son thing!

Jaymee is excellent on the drum kit, driving the songs through the night.

And just for the Old Dads …

Right now Right now in New York New York

Intrepid Eat-Drink-Sleep-Shoppers Erin and Pip are in the audience at Matilda the Musical right now at the Schubert Theatre on Broadway, New York City … and this is what they see!

Earlier they visited the famous Brill Building, which in its heyday was home to some of the great singer-songwriters of the 20th century.

 

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Inside, now (Picture: Erin Cokley)

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Pictures: Erin Cokley

At the Brill Building, New York, yesterday

At the Brill Building, New York, yesterday

 

Best festival day ever …

We saw/heard these guys (Tjintu Desert Band) last night in the Songlines tent at Woodford. They were my first “live” experience of hot central desert Australian Blackfella pub rock … great new material and excellent band, especially the cool guy on the keyboards, (where I like to imagine myself). Were you there?

It was our first big day in the mountains north-west of Brisbane … started in the Concert tent with the Starboard Cannons, then to the Bazaar tent for Rachael Dadd and finally for the morning, to the Grande for the amazing Scottish wonders Tim Edey Trio.

Lunch at Govindas then setting up our camp in Tent City before returning to Blues Town for Brisbane band The Company, into the Palace tent for the Doogans, dinner at the Marrakech Express and back to settle in at Blues Town for the Empressarios and the Brass Knuckle Brass Band.

Betweeners: We drank a bold new vodka cocktail called a Crapple at Bill’s Bar, sank a Champoine and a Champino Kolada and drank brilliant cold teas at Eshai TeaHouse. Where did you drink?

Here they all are:

Starboard Cannons:


Rachael Dadd:


Tim Edey Trio:


The Company (historic video, hairstyles have changed!):


Empressarios:


and finally the Brass Knuckle Brass Band.

Ballan in Autumn is Festival Time

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This is the big week for our little Central Highlands town 78km north-west of Melbourne, when the power poles in the main street magically sprout loudspeakers and spring to life on Sunday. We hadn’t moved in this time last year so Sunday will be our first one … luckily filmmaker Patrick Bonello captured the action and posted it: looks wild!

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So many concerts

We’ve been amazed at the number of top concerts which come to our part of the world. Suzi Quatro was here last month (video by Michelle Bell-Booth on YouTube) and next week (March 15) the Ballarat Symphony Orchestra is playing at Michael Unwin Wines at Beaufort, just up the road to the north-west.

Last Spring we sat in glorious sunshine (the one hot sunny day) next to Lake Wendouree and listened to Jon English, Ross Wilson and Russell Morris for around four hours of solid Oz rock and roll, not to mention blues, all for $50 a head. Thanks to the people at Regional Touring, I guess.

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Jon English: picture by John Cokley

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Ross Wilson: picture by John Cokley

Russell Morris: Picture by John Cokley

Russell Morris: Picture by John Cokley

As Autumn starts we ventured out to the Grampians last week, taking in lunch at Halls Gap and then tasting wine on the way back at Beaufort and Michael Unwin’s wines, taking home two bottles of his signature Umbrella Man chardonnay and merlot.

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Enjoy Autumn … we’ll have some flowers, more visits and other shopping news next month.

It’s nearly Spring … the flowers know

Spring starts on Sunday and the flowers are getting ready to celebrate. Our snowdrops were out first, followed yesterday by the daffodils, and we can see new buds on the rose bushes in our long garden.

Pip’s pruned them all on July 7 and those “in the know” out here say 154 days from then, we’ll see the first flowers on the bushes on December 8, 154 days after pruning. We shall see … but the first shoots shot out this week and they look strong and healthy.

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More pruning and shaping happened last week when Pip attended her first Wild-Wood Chairs Workshop organised by the Wombat Regional Arts Network in the Shire of Moorabool. Here’s her glorious chair, shaped, drilled and nailed using found timber and her own hands. Might look rickety but it’s tough and strong and now occupies pride of place on our veranda.

Pub Grub

We’ve been frequenting the “locals” in the Ballan district now since the start of the year and we can report back on eating experiences.

Hudson’s in our hometown Ballan has recently re-opened its dining room and looks like becoming a familiar haunt. Host Kathleen is encouraging a local music group (of which I could become the humble keyboard player) which tries to rehearse weekly and had an acoustic afternoon last Sunday. Ah, beer and music! So far we’ve tried the lamb shanks (cooked to perfection to falling-off-the bone stage), pork chop, salt-and-pepper calamari and mixed grill and not been disappointed in quality or serving size.

The Royal Hotel in Meredith is a nice place to stop off between our base and our friends to the south in Lethbridge and Bannockburn. Quiet dining room and easy parking.

We enjoyed our visit to the Gordon Hotel in Gordon (now there’s a surprise) because lunch was easy, pleasant and warm and it set us up just nicely for our magic visit to the Old Trout Hat Shoppe over the road.

The Farmers Arms Hotel in Daylesford holds happy memories because we enjoyed lunch with new friends and so far have been there twice. Established in 1857 (according to its website), it claims the prize as the oldest pub in town. It probably boasts the most extensive menu and beer+wine list among the crop we’re reviewing today and you’d expect that in a tourist town like Daylesford.

And our surprise find of the month is the Wallace Hotel (yes, in Wallace, just up the road from Gordon and Ballan). It’s like Dr Who’s Tardis: bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside. There’s the very respectable dining room at the front and a pub bar, then whoa, a huge restaurant and functions room at the back, big enough for any country wedding. So far we’ve enjoyed two Sunday lunches there and then met the good folk at the Ballan Chamber of Commerce at their monthly dinner. Let’s see: we’ve had the fish and salad, vegetable soup, Margarita pizza and steak pie … good nourishing and tasty fare, what more could you ask? Well, how about the ornate pressed-metal ceiling and the welcoming fireplace?

The pubs round here? We’ll be back!

 

Rodriguez: Just like an ordinary legend

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Just about all the 2400 seats at Hamer Hall in the Victorian Arts Centre were full last night for the first night of a two-night stand by iconic minstrel Sixto Rodriguez, profiled in the 2012 Academy-award winning cult movie Searching for Sugarman but better known among oldies for his albums Cold Fact (1970) and Coming From Reality (1971).

Rodriguez, 71 this year, came on stage soon after 10pm following an hour’s warm-up by supergroup The Break – drummer Rob Hirst (of Midnight Oil) bassist Brian Ritchie (of Violent Femmes) Jim Moginie on guitar/theremin/keyboard and Martin Rotsey on guitar (two more former Oils) with Jack Howard (Hunters & Collectors) on trumpet and flugelhorn (see their website).

They’re a fully-surf music retro group and the highlight for me was cottoning on to Bombora by The Atlantics, the 1963 surf classic. They played in front of a huge screen on which was projected a series of surf movies and the occasional parkour (free running) adventure.

The crowd took an interval of 20 minutes before starting a slow handclap for the guest of honour, possibly the only country in the world where this might be considered a compliment.

And then he was there … I’ve finally scratched off a big Bucket List item tonight. I’ve met Mother Teresa, Noel Paul Stookey (Peter Paul & Mary) and David Attenborough and been to Burt Bacharach and James Taylor concerts … all Bucket List biggies. But I never dreamt I’d make a Rodriguez gig. Halfway through his set he quipped: “Call me Rodriguez, and I just wanna be treated like an ordinary legend.”

He began by donning a red, black and white cap and singing the Oil’s anthem Redneck Wonderland.

Four songs in (after Crucify your Mind) he covered the Cole Porter standard Just One of Those Things, previously covered by Frank Sinatra.

Immediately after Frank, the crowd was clapping and singing along to I Wonder.

Rodriguez standards including Establishment Blues and Sugar Man held the set together but more classic covers included Johnny Cash’s Sea of Heartbreak, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley’s Blue Suede Shoes and Bob Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone, which he served up as his first encore after a 5-minute standing ovation enticed him back on stage. The last song of the evening, nearing midnight, was Can’t Get Away, and then he did.

Ever seen a mosh pit full of 60-year-olds?

Found him!

The sleeper hit of the decade — for me anyway — is Searching for Sugar Man, the new bio-pic about the artist we have all called simply Rodriguez … we saw it at the Palace Brighton Bay last week. I bought his 70s classic Cold Fact on vinyl back in the 80s and now I’m frantically searching for a copy on CD because the vinyl player has gone to the great jam session in the sky.

Tell us your favourite Rodriguez hits (please leave a comment …)

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