Thursday, August 26, 2010

Oh Mercy- Keith St. 7" Single Launch

Tonight Tash and I met up at The Toff in Town for the launch of Oh Mercy's new 7" single "Keith St." The two opening acts were lead singers from up and coming Melbourne bands: Geoff O'Connor of Crayon Fields and Kieran Ryan of Kid Sam. Geoff played his set on electric guitar with a sampler, while Kieran's set was all on acoustic guitar. It was good to see them both play for the first time after hearing positive things about their respective bands.

Oh Mercy started the night with "Lay Everything on Me" and then segued into "Seemed Like a Good Idea." Their set consisted mostly of new material from their upcoming album, which will be out in early 2011. It was nice to get a sneak preview and hear what they have been working on, including the new single "Keith St." A few of the songs really stood out on first listen, and Eliza even sang lead on one song called "Doldrums." We also got some of my favorites like "Broken Ears" and "In My Stride," and they finished their set with "Get You Back." The only downside of the evening was the fact that guitarist Thomas Savage has gone MIA. For some reason he is no longer touring with the band, which is a bit of a worry as he and Alex are such a great songwriting partnership. I would hate it if he has left the band.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ruth and Danny's Wedding

Yesterday was Ruth and Danny's "Dutchnamese" wedding day. They started the morning with a traditional Vietnamese ceremony with both families, and then had the wedding in the afternoon at St. Margaret Mary's Church in Brunswick. It was a joyous ceremony and the priest's homily about them was quite funny. I hitched a ride with people over to the reception at Abbotsford Convent, and while they took photos we killed time in a cafe and then a small bar.

At 6pm the reception officially started with hors d'oeuvres and drinks in the courtyard. We then headed inside and sat down for the eight course Vietnamese seafood banquet which included oysters, scallops, lobster, abalone, and trout. In between the courses we had speeches, the cutting of the cake and first dance, which Danny and Ruth had a refresher swing dancing lesson for. After all that food we managed to hit the dance floor during the last hour of the reception. It was a great night and I am sure they will have a long and happy marriage.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hungry Kids of Hungary- Shady Haze of Winter Tour

Last night Tash, Mary and I met up at the East Brunswick Club for Hungry Kids of Hungary's Shady Haze of Winter tour. After eating dinner in the bar we headed for the bandroom to catch the first act, Auckland's Artisan Guns, who were good. Next up was Sydney band The Holidays, who Tash and I last saw a couple years ago. They entered the stage to Berlin's "Take My Breath Away" complete with lights flashing along to the beat (quite funny). Their set consisted entirely of new songs off their upcoming debut album Post Paradise, which I thought was a brave choice. The standout track for me was "6am."

Hungry Kids of Hungary hit the stage to big cheers from the crowd. They opened the night with "Set It Right." This was their first sold out show in Melbourne, which was exciting. The set list consisted of a few new songs, but was mostly all of their released material. "Wristwatch," "Scattered Diamonds" and "Let You Down" had the audience singing along and it was also good to hear some rarely played songs such as "Arrest This Heart" and "One By One." The encore saw an invasion of about 20 members of the crowd onto the stage for "Lenny" and "Good Times." It was another fun show by the Hungry Kids, and I can't wait for the release of their debut album Escapades on October 1st.

Here's the video for their latest single "Wristwatch"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Music Video Star

I got an interesting message from Mary yesterday alerting me to the fact that she, Tash and I appear in The Basics latest video for "Better." This was filmed at the last night of their Northcote Social Club residency in June, and is the first single off their new live album /ðə'bæzɪtʃ/, which is available now for free download.

Amazingly, this is not my first appearance in a music video. I am also in the Crowded House video for "It's Only Natural" in a crowd shot from a free show they played in Golden Gate Park in 1991 at the 2:22 minute mark (center of front row, black top). Blink and you'll miss me!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ruth's Hen Night

Last night was Ruth's hen (or bachelorette) night. It was thankfully a very civilized affair. We started at Ruth's place around 4pm for the "triangles of wisdom" craft activity where everyone created a colorful triangle with some words of wisdom that were then strung together to create a banner. Next we headed out to dinner at the Turkish and Middle Eastern inspired restaurant Baba on Lygon Street in East Brunswick. For $35 per person we got a massive amount of food off the three course food safari banquet, which ranged from dips to assorted vegetables dishes and a lamb roast claypot. It was all very good and we had heaps of food left over.

After dinner we discovered a cute little bar a few doors down from the restaurant called Eydie's. We found a nice quiet spot at the back near a fake fireplace and had a couple of drinks before heading for home. Next Saturday is the wedding, so it was nice to meet and chat with Ruth's family and friends before the big day.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Visiting Schools

Over the last week and a half I have been able to escape the office and visit schools to do some filming. We are putting together a short DVD to show what a wider workforce in schools looks like and try to get away from the image of one teacher in front of 25 students in a classroom. We went to schools in the eastern and northern suburbs, as well as Ballarat. All these schools are using a variety of staff with different expertise to work in teams with students. Some of the schools also have built brand new open learning spaces using state and federal funding. It was good to get back into a school environment, and one school in particular with open learning spaces and teams of teachers made me even consider wanting to return to teaching. Now the fun will be editing down the massive amount of footage we have into 10 minutes. We probably have enough material to make several clips on different topics.
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