Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Top Ten Songs for 2011

Another year is coming to a close which can only mean one thing- time for all those end of year top ten lists.  Not to be left out, here are my top ten favorite songs for 2011 (aka songs that make me want to hit repeat after having just listened to them).

10. Slow Dancer "Leave It To Me"
Slow Dancer is the solo project of Simon Okely from Oh Mercy.  "Leave It To Me" is the first song he has put up online and I really love the laid back feel to Simon's music as well as his excellent guitar playing.  Definitely one to watch for 2012.

  Leave It To Me by Slow Dancer

9. The Good China "No More Maps, No More Roads"
2011 saw the return of The Good China to the Melbourne live scene after nearly a year's hiatus.  The single "No More Maps, No More Roads" was a live favorite and has all the great hallmarks of a Good China track, including lots of hand claps.

8. Boy & Bear "Feeding Line"
It has been a monster year for Sydney's Boy & Bear, having won 5 ARIA awards for their debut album Moonfire.  "Feeding Line" was the first single off the album, and signaled a new musical direction for the band from their previous EP.

7. The Harpoons "Keep You Around"
Another favorite band of mine that reemerged this year was The Harpoons.  "Keep You Around" showcases Bec Rigby's soulful voice in this song about love with the great lyric "when you smiled at me I was a hopeless case."  I am definitely looking forward to their debut album coming out in 2012.

  The Harpoons - Keep You Around by twobrightlakes 

6. Liam Finn "Don't Even Know Your Name"
This song was not a single but it's my favorite track off Liam Finn's latest album FOMO.  "Don't Even Know Your Name" has a driving beat and an optimistic energy to it, and I absolutely love the chorus (which for some reason reminds me of "Panic" by The Smiths).  Here's a live version of song, but do seek out the album track.

5. Brous "Streamers"
The first single off of Brous' self-titled debut EP, "Streamers" sounds like a song from a 1960s James Bond film.  Sophia Brous' voice is quite amazing and I love how the first verse of this song keeps speeding up.  There is a definite cinematic quality to her music and it will be interesting to see what she produces next.

4. Seeker Lover Keeper "Even Though I'm A Woman"
Seeker Lover Keeper is the female Australian supergroup made up of Sarah Blasko, Sally Seltmann and Holly Throsby.  One of the initial singles off of their self-titled debut album, "Even Though I'm A Woman" is a song about long distance love sung by Holly and written by Sally with some biting lyrics such as "I love you more when I'm missing you, it's why I'm always away."  The song is a bit of an anthem for female independence.

3. Kimbra "Cameo Lover"
Kimbra is originally from New Zealand but has been living in Melbourne the past few years.  "Cameo Lover" come off of her debut album Vows and won her the 2011 Vanda and Young Songwriting Competition as well as an ARIA award for best female artist.  I love the contrast between the verses and chorus of this song as well as its fantastic video.

2. Gotye "State Of The Art"
You may have thought that I would pick Gotye's biggest hit to date, but no, my favorite song off of his latest album Making Mirrors is "State Of The Art."  Only Wally would write a song about his beloved Lowrey Cotillion organ.  My favorite part of the song is when the bossa nova rhythm kicks in to the lyric "start the bossa nova beat and limbo from the living to the kitchen."  The video animation by Rubber House is also exceptional.

1. Oh Mercy "Stay Please Stay"
My most played song of the year is Oh Mercy's "Stay Please Stay," the first single off their second album Great Barrier Grief.  I absolutely adore the chorus of this song, especially Thomas Savage's beautiful jangly guitar.  It also has a great closing lyric by Alexander with "what can I do with a love that gathers dust in a busy room?" An indie pop classic.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!  I hope you have had (or are planning to have) a great day.  This year my manager Elvira took pity on me and invited me to join her family for Christmas lunch.  We had quite the traditional/Italian feast with antipasto dishes, snapper, turkey, stuffing and roast vegetables.  As we were resting from this yummy meal the hot weather became thunderstorms and we got hit with a massive hail storm- some of which were the size of golf balls.  It was pretty insane and the ground was covered in hail (a white Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere, if you will).  This kicked off a series of about four different massive thunderstorm episodes throughout the rest of the afternoon/evening with thunder, lightning, hail, torrential rain and even a tornado warning throughout Melbourne.  I've never seen anything like it before.  We watched each storm in amazement as we continued into our dessert of fruit, cheeses, pavlova and Christmas pudding.  At one point lightning struck one of the transformers on the street and the power went out with a huge explosion.  It will definitely be a day we won't soon forget.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Seeker Lover Keeper- Heavenly Sounds Tour

Last night I went to St. David's Cathedral in Hobart to see Seeker Lover Keeper play a sold out show.  This Heavenly Sounds tour is taking place in churches and cathedrals around the country.  Not only are the venues and acoustics amazing, but the crowd is silent and attentive during the songs.  What a luxury these days for an Australian show.

The opening act was Henry Wagons of the band Wagons.  He was great and played a set of country tinged music solo on acoustic guitar.  Henry was very entertaining with his stage banter and had a song about "Willie Nelson," his own version of "The Gambler," and requested that guys don't date his sister on "Keep Your Eyes Off My Sister."

Seeker Lover Keeper started the evening with "Bring You Back."  Sarah, Sally and Holly were in a relaxed and fun mood throughout the night, and their voices and harmonies in that cathedral sounded fantastic.  They played the entire Seeker Lover Keeper album and highlights included "Light All My Lights," "Everytime," "We Will Know What It Is" and the always moving "If The Night Is Dark" (with my favorite lyric "This is my home, this is where I belong").  We even got their They Will Have Their Way contribution of Neil Finn's "Sinner," which was an interesting cover choice considering the venues on this tour.  They also each played one of their own songs, with Sarah doing "Bird On A Wire," Sally playing New Buffalo's "Emotional Champ," and Holly doing "What I Thought Of You."  The main set ended with "Rest Your Head On My Shoulder" and for the encore they played a cover of Stevie Nick's "Wild Heart" and then finished with "Even Though I'm A Woman."  It was exciting to see these three ladies play together live again before they head back to their respective solo careers.

Here's the video for "Light All My Lights"

Farewell Hobart

Today was the final day of the AARE Conference.  I attended a session on improving success in pre-service teachers field experience, and an invited symposium on teachers and leaders in low SES schools.  The conference finished at midday and I have learned a lot over the past four days.  I am fortunate that I got the opportunity to attend and also present.  After eating lunch I had a wander around Hobart with a new friend and then headed off to the airport for the flight back to Melbourne (the whole plane may have been full of conference attendees).

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 30

Today was day three of the AARE Conference.  We started the morning with an interesting keynote address on design for learning by Professor Peter Goodyear from The University of Sydney.  I then attended a session on technology and learning, and the invited symposium on the international Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills research project.

For the afternoon I escaped the conference and took a ferry to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).  Don't worry- my boss came along as well.  As the name says, the collection is a mix of old and contemporary art.  There are some challenging pieces, but nothing I found too shocking.  None of the pieces are labeled but you use an iPod Touch to get information (it geotracks where you are and pulls up details on the art that is nearby).  The building and grounds of MONA are also amazing.  It was a fun way to spend the afternoon, and a great site for the last photo of the Wear My Wardrobe Challenge!  I'm standing in front of the piece Snake by Sidney Nolan.

Today's outfit:
Blue long sleeve top (Now)
Black pants (Gap)
Black flats (Tony Bianco)

Photo by Elizabeth

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 29

Today was day two of the AARE Conference.  I attended sessions on NAPLAN exams, the Radford Lecture by Lyn Yates from The University of Melbourne, and a social justice panel discussion on equity and education research, policy and practice.  Oh, and I also presented as part of a symposium with Deakin University on learning space redesign and pedagogy (the reason for this trip).  I really dislike public speaking, but the session went well.  I gave the Victorian Department perspective on our learning spaces research agenda, and Deakin talked about a few of the projects they have done for us.  I am glad it is over and now I can relax a bit.  Tonight I have a special interest group dinner to attend to meet others who are interested in politics and policy in education.

Today's outfit:
Floral top (Banana Republic)
Black skirt (Ann Taylor Loft)
Black tights
Black heels (Steve Madden)

Photo by Elizabeth

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 28

Today was the first day of the AARE Conference.  We were welcomed by the Governor of Tasmania and had a keynote address from Professor Miriam Zukas from Birkbeck, University of London on the conference theme of "Researching Across Boundaries."  I attended symposia on supporting early career teacher resilience, reconceptualizing rural-regional pre-service teacher education, and contemporary professional issues for teachers in the 21st century.  Today's photo was taken along the waterfront in between sessions (sorry I couldn't get a full shot).

Today's outfit:
Black long sleeve top (Mossimo)
Olive pants (Gap)
Black flats (Tony Bianco)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 27

Today I flew down to Hobart where I will be attending the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Conference this week.  I spent the afternoon wandering around the waterfront, including Salamanca Place which is the site of today's photo.

Today's outfit:
Blue shirt (Gap)
Black khaki pants (Old Navy)
Black flats (Tony Bianco)

Photo by Elizabeth

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Oh Mercy: The Hi-Fi Bar

Last night I ventured down to The Hi-Fi Bar for Oh Mercy's final headline show of the year.  The first act of the evening was five piece band Buckley Ward, who played a decent set of indie music.  Next up was Owl Eyes (aka Brooke Addamo).  She and her band performed a very entertaining set of electro/indie pop music which got crowd up and dancing.  The biggest response was for her Triple J Like A Version cover of Foster The People's "Pumped Up Kicks."

Oh Mercy took to the stage and started with "Hold Out Your Hand" and then played one of my Privileged Woes faves "Broken Ears" (complete with a blistering guitar solo from Simon).  For these shows they had a keyboardist in the band to filled out the sound.  Alex was in a very giddy mood and did lots of hand gestures while singing throughout the night (almost like Neil Finn video level stuff).  They played four new songs, including "Lady Eucalyptus," "My Man" and "Europa."  Other highlights were "Confessions," "Let Me Go" and "Lay Everything On Me."  At one point the band left the stage and Alex performed David McComb's (The Triffids) "The Good Life Never Ends" solo and mostly a capella to the attentive room.  The first single off Great Barrier Grief "Stay Please Stay" was the final song of the main set, and for the encore they played "Keith St." and finished with a raucous version of Leonard Cohen's "Memories."  This was one of the more interesting Oh Mercy live gigs I have attended, and will probably be it for a while as they take a break to start writing for the new album.

Here is a clip of Oh Mercy's Triple J Like A Version cover of ELO's "Evil Woman"

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 26

It is Saturday in Melbourne, which means it's raining (again).  Today is a good day to relax, get laundry done, and pack as I am off to Hobart tomorrow for a conference.

Today's outfit:
Plaid shirt (H&M)
Jeans (Old Navy)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 25

It is a long trek up the two sets of escalators to get out of Parliament Station in the morning.  I usually walk up the first set, but the second one is twice as long so I just tend to stand to the left and let others tackle the climb.  Another work week is coming to an end and tonight I am off to The Hi-Fi Bar to see my faves Oh Mercy play their last headline show of the year.

Today's outfit:
Grey cardigan (Merona)
Floral top (Old Navy)
Olive corduroy pants (Old Navy)
Sandals (Diana Ferrari)

Photo by Onagh

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Harpoons and Boy & Bear

This week is Melbourne Music Week, with today being the Live Music Safari where over 60 acts were playing for free in various venues around the city.  Tash and I met up at The John Curtin Hotel in Carlton to catch the first act of the night on bill there, our beloved and much missed band The Harpoons.  They started the evening with "You're The One I Love" and played a half hour set of old and new songs, including "Faith" and the fantastic new single "Keep You Around" (have a listen here). Bec Rigby's voice was as amazing and powerful as I remembered it to be, and the band harmonies were lovely.  It is so great to have The Harpoons playing live again and hopefully a debut album is on the horizon.

I also had another concert to attend this evening, which was the first of two shows at the Palace Theatre by Boy & Bear in support of their debut album Moonfire.  I arrived at the venue as Ball Park Music was finishing their set and caught their last two songs "Sad Rude Future Dude" and "It's Nice to be Alive."

Boy & Bear came out onto the stage to big cheers from the crowd and started their set with "Lordy May." They played the majority of both the Moonfire album and With Emperor Antarctica EP.  Highlights of the set for me were "Blood To Gold," "Mexican Mavis," "Milk & Sticks" and "My Only One" (the end part of that song gets me every time).  The band were accompanied by a violinist and cellist on several songs, and the crowd sang along to almost everything, including their cover of Crowded House's "Fall At Your Feet."  Towards the end of the set they brought out all the supporting bands to sing backing vocals on "Big Man" and then finished the evening with their hit single "Feeding Line."  Staying true to previous tour stops in Melbourne the boys continue to maintain their tradition of not playing encores.  It was an excellent show and all the touring they have done this year has made them into a really tight live band.

Here's the video for the latest single "Part Time Believer"

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 24

Today was a day of industrial action in the city.  The Community and Public Sector Union held a stop work rally at 11am around our campaign for Fair Pay For Fair Work from the Victorian government because 2.5% is not enough.  Considering our department executives have been receiving yearly bonuses of around 14%, I think the government can at least give the public sector workforce something that meets the current CPI level of around 3.6%.  After gathering for the rally we marched to the steps of Parliament House.  We also joined the big Australian Nursing Federation community rally at lunch time where they marched from Bourke Street mall to Parliament House.  It was a sea of red along Bourke Street as the nurses fight to maintain and improve nurse patient ratios and ensure a high quality public health sector.

Today's outfit:
Black shirt (Now)
Grey striped pants (Old Navy)
Black flats (Tony Bianco)

Photo by Onagh

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 23

Enjoy my artsy elevator shot.  Only seven more days to go in the challenge!

Today's outfit:
Purple dress (Old Navy)
Black tights
Black boots (Diana Ferrari)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 22

If there is one store you should not allow me to go into, it is JB Hi-Fi.  I am old school in that I like to buy physical CDs, and I have quite the music collection of them at home.  It is also impossible for me to leave the store with just one CD, as you can see from today's photo.

Today's outfit:
Blue-green top (Gap)
Grey pants (Gap)
Black flats (Tony Bianco)

Photo by Onagh

Monday, November 21, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 21

Today's photo finds me in Parliament Gardens by the Coles Fountain.  We walked past here on our way to lunch at the always yummy MissChu tuck shop on Exhibition Street.

Today's outfit:
Floral dress (Banana Republic)
Black heels (Steve Madden)

Photo by Onagh

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 20

Unfortunately the weekend is almost over.  I went to the gym this morning, did my grocery shopping, and then had a surprise visit from Chantal, which was nice.  We spent the afternoon chatting in my courtyard, site of today's photo.  Now it's time to cook some dinner.

Today's outfit:
Black striped long sleeve shirt (Gap)
Brown corduroy pants (Old Navy)
Flip flops (Old Navy)

Photo by Chantal

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 19

It is a very rainy Saturday in Melbourne.  I ventured out into the elements this morning to The Cutting Edge on Sydney Road for a much needed haircut.  See how nice my hair can look when professionally blow dried?

Today's outfit:
Striped shirt (Gap)
Jeans (Gap)
Boots (Blundstone)

Photo by Kali

Friday, November 18, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 18

It's not surprising that I have a massive sweet tooth (especially since I love to bake).  Since it's Friday and also very hot outside, Zoran, Onagh and I decided to treat ourselves to some afternoon tea at Koko Black.  I had a piece of opera cake and an iced chocolate.  Slightly decadent.

Today's outfit:
Black polka dot top (Ann Taylor Loft)
Red corduroy skirt (H&M)
Sandals (Diana Ferrari)

Photo by Onagh

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Georgia Fair- All Through Winter Launch

After a drink at Tuscan Bar and dinner with Chantal, I headed to The Toff last night for Georgia Fair's sold out All Through Winter album launch.  There were already a fair number of people in the venue when I arrived, and it was a very young crowd.  The first act of the night was singer-songwriter Carry Nation (aka Jessie Warren).  She played a solo set on electric guitar and had some interesting thoughts that she shared in between songs, including her obsession with whales.

Next up was Slow Dancer, which is Simon Okely from Oh Mercy's solo project.  Simon played the first couple songs solo on guitar and then was joined by James Harding on bass and Rohan Sforcina (also from Oh Mercy) on drums.  The songs had a really great laid back vibe and groove to them, and as expected, excellent guitar playing by Simon.  I was very impressed with his set, and he finished with "Leave It To Me."  I grabbed a free Slow Dancer postcard from Eliza Lam, who was working the merch desk, and told her I'd see her next week for Oh Mercy's gig at the Hi-Fi Bar.

The room was absolutely packed for Georgia Fair, and Tash, Jessie and Heath arrived just as they started their set.  Jordan and Ben played most of the songs with a band but also did a few by themselves.  Their set consisted of songs from the new album as well as a few from their previously released EP.  "Picture Frames" got the biggest reaction from the crowd, and other standouts were "Times Fly," "Float Away," "Simple Man" and "Where You Been?"  Thankfully the crowd were respectful and attentive for the tracks from new album, which are more mellow songs.  The boys have recently moved to Melbourne, so hopefully there will be more local shows in the future.

Here's the first single off the album, "Where You Been?"

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 17

I do not have a car here in Melbourne so I am a frequent user of public transportation.  Since I live close to the city I can either take the train or a tram (site of today's photo) to get to and from where I need to go.  One downside to the way Melbourne's public transport system is designed is the fact that it's hard to get across town as most lines run in and out of the city.  This often leads to longer travel times, but it's something I can deal with.  Even if I did have a car, I don't know when I would use it as I wouldn't drive into the city for work and everything else I need is in walking distance of my home.

Today's outfit:
Purple dress (Ric Rac)
Sandals (Diana Ferrari)

Photo by Onagh

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 16

I should be at the gym but instead I'm having drinks at Tuscan Bar.  Oops.  Actually I wasn't planning to go today as I am off to see Georgia Fair at The Toff tonight.

Today's outfit:
Magenta top (Jacqui-E)
Long sleeve black top (Old Navy)
Black pants (Old Navy)
Flats (Tony Bianco)

Photo by Chantal

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 15

While wandering through Treasury Gardens I was a bit surprised to come across a memorial to President John F. Kennedy (site of today's photo).  It was designed by sculptor Raymond B. Ewers and erected in 1965 to remember Kennedy's service as President of the United States.  The memorial is surrounded by a pond which is used by ducks, including some very cute little babies that hatched recently.

Today's outfit:
White blouse (Banana Republic)
Brown skirt (Ann Taylor Loft)
Brown heels (Steve Madden)

Photo by Onagh

Monday, November 14, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 14

Tonight after work a group of us went to see economist and Federal Member for Fraser Andrew Leigh speak about The Economics and Politics of Teacher Merit Pay at an event run by the Grattan Institute.  It was an interesting discussion and Q&A session in addition to being very relevant for my current work.  Afterwards we headed to Seamstress on Lonsdale Street (site of today's photo) for drinks and a bite to eat.

Today's outfit:
Dress (odille)
Black cardigan (Charter Club)

Photo by Elvira

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Brous EP Launch

Last night I headed down to the recently opened Phoenix Public House (formerly The Spot) on Sydney Road for Brous' sold out EP launch.  First on the bill was American born actress and singer Jane Badler and The Give.  She played a couple songs from her albums and did a cover of Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out Of My Head."

Next up was Lost Animal, who were a bit delayed in starting due to technical difficulties.  Featuring Jarrod Quarrell on lead vocals and keyboard, and Shags Chamberlain on bass, they played an interesting set of music that also utilized instrumental samples from a computer.  I liked Jarrod's vocal delivery and enjoyed quite a few of their songs, including "Say No To Thugs" and "Lose The Baby."

Soon the voices of La Voce Della Luna filled the room.  Performing in a space at the side of the venue, this amazing intergenerational choral group of 30 or so Italian women sang traditional songs in Italian accompanied by an accordion and tambourine.  Sophia Brous even came out and joined them for "Bella Ciao."  Unfortunately there were people talking at the bar while they sang, which made it a bit difficult to hear.  However I found them very entertaining and they nearly stole the show.

Sophia Brous and her band then entered the stage and started their set with the current single off her EP "Little Ticket."  Sophia was wearing this great blue long sleeve dress with pearl and gold buttons down the front.  They played all the songs from the EP as well as a few new ones, with "Streamers," "Way Up On The River" and "Oh My Brother" being highlights.  Sophia has an amazing and powerful voice and she alternated between two microphones- one normal and one with an echo effect.  Sophia also sang a duet with Conrad Standish from the band Devastations, who was DJing for the evening.  All in all I was quite impressed and the current buzz around Brous is definitely justified.  I look forward to catching her playing live again soon.

Here is the video for her first single "Streamers":

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 13

One of the down sides of having a washing machine/dryer combo is that clothes come out more wrinkled than if you have a separate dryer.  Here I am ironing clothes I won't be wearing again until December.

Today's outfit:
Green short sleeve shirt (Wednesday)
Black yoga pants (Gap)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 12

It's been a beautiful day in Melbourne, although I have spent most of it inside cleaning my apartment.  Tonight I am heading out for the Brous EP launch, which should be fun.

Today's outfit:
Purple short sleeve top (Gap)
Grey jeans (Old Navy)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 11

Happy Friday!  Today I am practicing my starfish pose (as learned from Inge in Body Balance) on the grounds at work.

Today's outfit:
White floral top (H&M)
Jeans (Levi's)
Sandals (Diana Ferrari)

Photo by Onagh

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 10

Today's photo finds me in front of the Great Petition, created by Susan Hewitt and Penelope Lee in 2008 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote in Victoria.  The artwork, which is fabricated in rolled steel and painted white, references the "Monster Petition" signed by 30,000 Victorian women in 1891 calling for the right to vote from Parliament.

Today's outfit:
Teal top (edme & esyllte)
Black pants (Old Navy)
Boots (Sandler)

Photo by Onagh

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 9

Working in and around historically significant buildings means there are many interesting little spots to explore- like the basement where the vaults are located.  As you can see, some of these doorways are quite small in comparison to today's standards.  I often wonder what kind of sinister things have gone on down here in the past (the building was built in 1875). It's another warm and humid day in Melbourne and I am hoping I will not have to swim home tonight due to the expected thunderstorms and potential flash flooding.

Today's outfit:
Black top (Merona)
Black camisole (Old Navy)
"Mad Men" berry skirt (Banana Republic)
Sandals (Diana Ferrari)

Photo by Onagh

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 8

I awoke this morning to thunderstorms in Melbourne, so it was a bit tricky finding something to wear considering it is warm outside but also wet.  Today's photo was taken in Treasury Gardens.  I apologize for the wrinkles on my dress- I was sitting in meetings for 3 straight hours this morning (fun!).

Today's outfit:
Green dress (Maeve)
Flats (Tony Bianco)

Photo by Onagh

Monday, November 07, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 7

It's another work week, but at least we are having our divisional morning tea this morning.  A sugar hit will help me make it through the day (and I will work it off in kickboxing at the gym tonight).  Today's photo is taken on the grounds at work.

Today's outfit:
Floral top (Banana Republic)
Grey pants (Old Navy)
Ankle boots (Sandler)

Photo by Youla

Sunday, November 06, 2011

They Will Have Their Way: The Songs of Tim and Neil Finn

Tonight Tash, Mary and I met up in St Kilda for the They Will Have Their Way tribute concert featuring the songs of Tim and Neil Finn.  After a quick dinner at Grill'd we headed over to the Palais Theatre and took our seats in the orchestra section.  The performers on this tour all feature on the newly repackaged They Will Have Their Way album: Sarah Blasko, Holly Throsby, and Sally Seltmann (solo and as Seeker Lover Keeper), Paul Dempsey, Clare Bowditch, Lior, and Alexander Gow (Oh Mercy).  Each artist played several songs either by themselves or with others.  There was also a backing band to round out the sound of the songs, which spanned all eras of Tim and Neil's careers: Split Enz, Crowded House, Finn Brothers, and solo.  
There were so many great versions of the songs, but my favorites were Clare, Sarah, Holly and Sally doing "Fall At Your Feet," Lior's "Into Temptation," Sarah's "My Mistake," Paul's "Message To My Girl," Seeker Lover Keeper's "Sinner," Paul and Clare's "Turn and Run" (the one song I was hoping would get played), and Alex's "Now We're Getting Somewhere."  I felt the crowd was subdued and a bit dull since they wouldn't really sing along or interact.  Clare and Alex were the funny ones on the night and had us laughing a lot.  The encore saw all the artists come onto the stage to finish with "It's Only Natural" and "Weather With You."  All in all it was a great show with some interesting interpretations of the Finns' amazing songs.

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 6

I have ventured to St Kilda this evening for dinner and the They Will Have Their Way Finn tribute concert. Today's photo is taken in front of the entrance to Luna Park.

Today's outfit:
Blue dress (Old Navy)
Sandals (Diana Ferrari)

Photo by Mary

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 5

It's the last day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival with Emirates Stakes Day at Flemington Racecourse.  Thankfully the Kardashians fled Australia so they did not make it down to Melbourne for today's races.  The weather is quite warm, which is a nice change from the rain and cooler temperatures we've been having.  I've just been doing normal Saturday activities- laundry, grocery shopping, and cleaning.

Today's outfit:
Black top (StudioM)
Olive shorts (Now)

Friday, November 04, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 4

TGIF!  It's always good to get to the end of another work week.  Fridays are casual dress days in the office and usually a time for drinks after work.  Mary and I met up with Chantal at Tuscan Bar and we hit the rooftop bar since the sun was out.  After a drink and catch up we went for dinner at China Red (site of today's photo), a sister restaurant of HuTong Dumpling Bar.  We feasted on an assortment of dumplings from the touch screen menu, which were all delicious.

Today's outfit:
Pink polka dot top (Merona)
Black long sleeve shirt (Merona)
Jeans (Gap)
Sneakers (Puma)

Photo by Chantal

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 3

One of the great things about working in the city is all the little cafes in the surrounding area.  Taking a "coffee break" (more hot chocolate or chai latte for me since I don't drink coffee) is a good way to break up the work day and get out of the office.  This morning we went to Little Bean Blue, which is the site for today's photo.

Today's outfit:
Black top (INC International Concepts)
Plaid wool skirt (Gap)
Boots (Diana Ferrari)

Photo by Onagh

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 2

It's a grey and chilly day in Melbourne so I am dressed accordingly.  The office is also a bit quiet today (perhaps post-public holiday sadness).

Today's outfit:
Green dress (Gap)
Black sweater (Old Navy)
Black tights
Boots (Diana Ferrari)

Photo by Youla

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Wear My Wardrobe- Day 1

It is a public holiday today due to it being the Melbourne Cup.  As a result, I have been spending the day relaxing at home.  The winner of the race that stops the nation was Dunaden from France by the absolute slimmest of margins (it really should have been called a dead heat with Red Cadeaux).

Today's outfit:
Purple long sleeve top (Old Navy)
Black camisole (Old Navy)
Grey corduroy pants (Old Navy)

Monday, October 31, 2011

NaBloPoMo: Wear My Wardrobe Challenge

Tomorrow begins National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) where you post at least once a day for the 30 days of November.  This will be my third time participating, but I've decided to do something a bit different this year.  Inspired by my friend Inala's Frocktober effort of wearing a different dress everyday, I have decided to challenge myself to "Wear My Wardrobe" and not repeat an item of clothing during the month of November.  Most people only wear about 20% of their wardrobe.  I have two closets and a dresser full of clothes, so finding something different to wear each day should not be an issue.  I will document my efforts here with a daily photo of my outfit and try to put all those years of watching America's Next Top Model to good use.  Here's hoping Melbourne continues its predictably unpredictable weather throughout the month.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


I just made a Napoleon dessert for the first time and yes, it tastes awesome. This is also why I will be hitting the gym on Sunday.

The Good China at Cherry Bar

It has been almost a year since The Good China last played a show, so when Tash and I learned they would be returning to the live stage we had to be there.  I headed out into the rain last night and got to Cherry Bar towards the end of The Harlots energetic set, with Tash arriving shortly after (driving down from Ballarat, such is her dedication). 

The Good China still have eight members, but a new bass player.  They started their set with a new song and then launched into "All Nothing," complete with hand clapping from various parts of the crowd.  The set list was a mix of some pretty good sounding new numbers and old favorites like "If Pain Persists" and "We Found 3 Whistles."  We also got to hear their new single "No More Maps, No More Roads," which was another favorite from previous gigs.  It's so nice to have The Good China back on the Melbourne live scene and I look forward to catching them again soon.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Queen in Melbourne

The Queen and Prince Phillip were in Melbourne today for a very quick visit lasting about 4 hours.  They opened the new Royal Children's Hospital, then traveled to Federation Square to see an Indigenous art exhibit at the Ian Potter Gallery.  After walking through Fed Square and greeting the massive crowd (measured as "five times bigger than for Oprah") they boarded the "Royal Tram" and took a ride down St Kilda Road to Government House for a reception in their honor.  Soon afterward they were back on a plane to fly to Perth for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), the main purpose for The Queen's trip to Australia.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Melbourne Festival

Over the past few weeks the Melbourne Festival has been going on around town, featuring dance, theatre, music, visual arts, multimedia and outdoor events by Australian and international artists.  Today at lunch I finally managed to get out of the office to see the Angels-Demons. Parade statues by Russian art collective AES+F that are dotted around Swanston Street and St Kilda Road.  I saw four of the seven giant statues at Town Hall, City Square, St Paul's Cathedral and Federation Square.  Each one is a different shape and size, and are quite amazing to come across in the middle of an urban landscape.

After having drinks and dinner with Chantal and Amrita at a bar along the Yarra River in South Wharf, I walked to the Arts Centre to see the remaining three Angels-Demons. Parade statues and catch the light show Cacophony: The Art of Conflict by Australian projection artists The Electric Canvas.  The walls of Hamer Hall and the State Theatre were used for a series of different projection vignettes- some going on simultaneously and others alternating.  I watched for about 15 minutes and one of my favorite projections was a paint ball war where guns and cannons appeared and then paint splotches hit the opposing buildings.  This is the last week of the Melbourne Festival so be quick if you watch to catch any of the events or shows.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Yet Another Music Video Graced By My Presence

I have recently discovered that I am in yet another music video!  This time it is Little Red's "Get A Life" which uses footage that was shot during their show at The Palace earlier this year.  You can see me around the 0:29 and 4:18 marks in the crowd to the right of the soundboard.  Look for Mary who has her camera up blocking her face and I'm next to her on the left.  For those of you in the US, Little Red are coming to the States and playing some shows in October/November, so go check them out!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Gotye- Making Mirrors Tour

After meeting up for dinner at Tazio on Flinders Lane, Tash, Mary and I headed over to The Forum for the first of Gotye's four sold out shows in Melbourne in support of his chart topping album Making Mirrors.  We arrived during the second half of Oscar + Martin's set.  They sounded okay but had some tech problems at the end so played a song doing the beats on the drums and rapping freestyle.

Gotye started his set with "Making Mirrors" and then played "Eyes Wide Open."  Wally once again had the 10 piece mini-orchestra with him and used many of the same animations as at the Sydney Opera House album launch last month.  The audience sang along to a lot of the songs, which was exciting since the album has only been out for a little over a month. "State of the Art," "I Feel Better," "Smoke and Mirrors," and the number 1 single "Somebody That I Used to Know" (this time performed with Kimbra's recorded vocals) were highlights of the night.  Unfortunately Wally has been sick during the week and was starting to lose his voice by the end of the night.  This may have resulted in a song or two being cut out of the set list, but he did come back out for an encore and played "Learnalilgivinanlovin."  It is amazing how much success Wally is having with this new album and I hope the momentum keeps building for him both here and overseas.

Here's a short documentary on the making of Making Mirrors

Sunday, September 25, 2011

When Silence is Hard to Find

Flights back to Australia from the States are usually during night time, so it's often easier to try and get some sleep.  However, when you have a toddler who is not a happy flier and spends the majority of the time crying, it makes sleeping difficult.  The other kids on the plane did great, but this one child could not be consoled, which did not make for a fun 12 hours from San Francisco to Auckland.  In addition, the Auckland to Melbourne leg had a fussy baby (but at least that was only a 3 1/2 hour flight).  I tried to block out the noise by listening to music and watching some episodes of Modern Family as well as the movies Something Borrowed and The Switch.  I am glad to be back in Melbourne, but not surprisingly I feel a bit tired.  We will see how long I can manage to stay up today.

Friday, September 23, 2011


One of the best things about being in the States these past three weeks has been getting to spend time with my nephew Logan.  He was only a few weeks old when I last saw him so it's been fun to play with him now that he's nearly 2 years old.  Logan is a sweet, calm, good-natured boy who loves cars and trucks and running around. And he hasn't been that shy around me, which could be in part because my parents show him photos of me when he's at the house.

My brother and I took him to the park one day and he immediately grabbed my hand and led me around to the different play structures.  James, Simi and Logan have also been over for dinner a couple of times and Logan loves to run around in the backyard and explore things.  Today my parents and I got to babysit him since James and Simi both had to work.  It's going to be sad to leave and fly back to Australia today, but mostly because I won't get to play and hang out with Logan until I'm next in the US.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Heading Back North

My Southern California road trip has come to an end.  This morning we all went to have breakfast at IHOP and then Lei dropped me off at the airport in Burbank before driving back to the Bay Area (she wasn't sure she would be able to stay the whole week which is why I bought a plane ticket).  I flew Southwest Airlines to Oakland and then took the Airporter bus back to Marin.  I have had a fantastic time over this past week.  Special thanks to Lei for being my travel companion and our Uncle Tom and Aunt Dulce for letting us stay with them (and also introducing us to the very yummy Porto's Bakery in Glendale).

Friday, September 16, 2011

Oh Mercy- The Hotel Cafe

Photo by Leilani
Lei and I returned to The Hotel Cafe tonight to see Oh Mercy play their only show in Los Angeles.  I ran into Alex last night at Paul Kelly's show and he was kind enough to put me on the guest list. We got a table up the front and had a great view of the stage.  The set was about 40 minutes long and instead of Alex solo we were treated to what he called the "trans-Pacific version of Oh Mercy" consisting of some LA musicians, including Mitchell Froom (producer of Great Barrier Grief) on keyboards.  They started with "Keith St." and played "Mercy Valley," "Blue Lagoon," "Lay Everything On Me," "Stay Please Stay," "My Man," a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Memories," and finished with "Europa."  It was good to hear the songs with a full band, especially the new ones that I first heard Alex play in July.  I am really liking the harder edge to the new material.  After the show I chatted briefly with Alex and thanked him again for putting me on the list.  He flies back to Melbourne on Monday and is looking forward to showing off his tan.

Here is Alex doing an acoustic version of "Blue Lagoon"

Griffith Observatory

This afternoon Lei and I drove up to Griffith Observatory.  It was a hazy and overcast day so there weren't very clear views of LA but we could see the Hollywood sign.  The Observatory building is pretty amazing and I went a bit crazy taking photos of its art deco features at various angles.  We went inside and checked out all the different exhibits, which were well done, interesting, and engaging for a wide range of ages.  This was the first time both of us had been there and we had lots of fun.  Unfortunately we didn't have enough time to see any of the planetarium shows, but maybe that can happen on a future visit.  If you are ever in Los Angeles I definitely recommend making a trip to the Observatory and Griffith Park.
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