Friday, February 29, 2008

The Footy Is Back!

These are very exciting times for sports fans in Melbourne because Australian Rules Football is finally back. It's the preseason at the moment, which means the NAB Cup is on. I joined Michelle and her extended family for tonight's semi-final match between Essendon and St. Kilda at Telstra Dome. Michelle's parents saved us some seats near the goal at the bottom of Level 2. We had a great view of the field and the game. It was a tight match with some pathetic umpiring decisions that resulted in St. Kilda winning by 3 points on a questionable free kick at goal with less than a minute to play. However, the Bombers have been very impressive over the last few weeks. New coach Matthew Knights has introduced a fast and entertaining style of play, and all of the younger players have been fantastic. It looks to be a promising season, which will kick off on Easter weekend.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Music Moves My Feet

I have spent the last two evenings attending concerts. On Tuesday night Belinda and I headed over to the Northcote Social Club to see Little Red play at one of their Tuesday night residencies in February. Opening this week was Oh Mercy, a young Melbourne band that I was curious to see. I really enjoyed their set and they are another up and coming band to watch. Little Red was fantastic, as usual, and played for a bit over an hour. One of best things about the night for me was that I finally got my hands on a copy of their debut EP "Get Ready!" which I have been trying to get for months.

Photo by Tash
Wednesday night I joined Tash at the Prince Bandroom for Gotye and The Basics. I have been wanting to see The Basics live for a while now, and while I didn't get to hear the album tracks, we were treated to an acoustic set of all new material. Those three-part harmonies were so lovely. Gotye, otherwise known as Wally de Backer (and the drummer for The Basics), came out and played an amazing set of music. Wally's songs are created from a compilation of samples and vocals that he pastes together. It was amazing to watch him create this all on stage by himself. This show was scheduled to allow him to try some stuff out before the upcoming Laneway Festival, and while the lighting and visuals may not have gone quite to plan, it was still an entertaining evening. He finished up the night with a crowd sing-a-long of "We Are The World," which was quite funny.

Here's the video for "Hearts A Mess" by Gotye

Watch Gotye live at the Metro Theatre in Sydney on 29/7/07 here.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Longnecks

I had a very special birthday evening last night because I got to see The Longnecks, otherwise known as The Living End, play a sold out show at the Ding Dong Lounge in the CBD. Ruth and Danny joined me for the evening. This was our first time in the Ding Dong Lounge, and it's a nice room. They have tables where you can play 80's video games, which I thought was cool. We enjoyed the second opening act, Yves Klein Blue, a band from Brisbane with a diverse number of great little songs.

The Longnecks came out to a roar from the audience. We were safely positioned by the soundboard off the main floor in order to avoid the mosh pit. The band played a very similar set to the St. Kilda Festival with some more new songs added to the set list since they didn't have a time limit:
- Raise The Alarm
- Hey Hey Disbeliever
- Loaded Gun
- Kid
- How Do We Know
- New Frontier
- Waiting For The Silence
- Faith
- Moment In Sun
- November
- Rats
- Suzy
- 21st Century
- E-Boogie
- What's On Your Radio?
- West End Riot

A majority of the new songs have a much heavier rock sound than their previous efforts. There was some diversity though and some songs are more polished than others. I'm really curious to see what will make the album and what the final versions will sound like. For the encore they played officially as The Living End, and the energy in the room just went to another level. These guys are amazing musicians and so fun to watch live.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Today Australia said sorry to its indigenous people.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's speech: text or video

The Hour Has Come. A Nation Says Sorry The Age Editorial

Hands Across The Nation by Professor Mick Dodson

Sunday, February 10, 2008

St. Kilda Festival

Today was the St. Kilda Festival along the Esplanade and St. Kilda Beach. Belinda and I headed down to the festival in the afternoon and got there just in time for The Longnecks, aka The Living End. The boys are playing a series of shows around Victoria to try out the new songs in front of an audience before recording. They played a rocking 45 minute set of all new stuff and finished with "West End Riot." I'm really looking forward to seeing them again on Saturday night. After a very delicious hot jam donut break, we hit the Max Beach Stage and watched Operator Please, who sounded great. They even did a cover of Devo's "Whip It." We decided to head for home after their set before it got too chaotic in the evening. It was a gorgeous day down by the beach.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Rufus Wainwright

After an afternoon of catching up with Will and Helen at Edinburgh Gardens in North Fitzroy (they are in town from the UK), I headed into the city to see Rufus Wainwright play at Hamer Hall. Despite being a fan of Rufus since his debut album, this was the first time I had seen him perform live. I had a seat up in the balcony with a great view of the whole stage. Rufus has a full band with him for most of this Australian tour, and they were excellent and very versatile musicians. The setlist:
- Release The Stars
- Going To A Town
- Sanssouci
- Rules And Regulations
- Matinee Idol
- The Art Teacher
- Tiergarten
- Leaving For Paris
- Between My Legs
- The Consort
- Do I Disappoint You
- Foggy Day
- If Love Were All
- Beautiful Child
- Not Ready To Love
- Slideshow
- Macushlah
- 14th Street
- I Don't Know What It Is
- Poses
- Get Happy
- Gay Messiah

The sound in Hamer Hall was absolutely fantastic- the best I have ever heard at a concert. My favorite songs of the night were "Going To A Town," "Slideshow," and "Poses." The lighting and staging really enhanced a lot of the songs and Rufus performed material from all his albums. We even got a few Judy Garland numbers- complete with Rufus in drag for the encore. It was an amazing concert and I am so glad I went.
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