Sunday, January 30, 2011

Icecream Hands Reunion

Last night Ruth, Danny and I headed to Northcote for the evening.  We started with dinner at Otsumami on High Street, which is sort of like a Japanese tapas place.  We shared a few dishes and it was very good.  After a wander around High Street we had dessert at Delphi Continental Cakes and then headed to a bar where one of Ruth's friends was having an engagement party (and we got to watch the second half of the Australian Open women's final). 

The next stop was the Northcote Social Club where Icecream Hands were reuniting for one night to play their entire 1999 album Sweeter Than The Radio from start to finish.  This is probably my favorite album of theirs, and it was especially fantastic to hear "Spiritlevel Windowsill," "Dodgy," "Yellow & Blue," and "Giving It All Away."  There was a big crowd sing-along for their hit single "Nipple."  You would never know that they haven't played together in a few years as they sounded great.  The encore consisted of two covers and then it was all over.  Hopefully we will be lucky enough to get some more shows like this in the future.

Here's a clip of Icecream Hands on Hey Hey, It's Saturday back in the day playing "Spiritlevel Windowsill"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happy Australia Day

Today is my first Australia Day as an Australian citizen.  Ruth and Danny were kind enough to invite me over this afternoon for a BBQ, which is a very traditional way of celebrating.  It was also an excuse for them to christen their new barbecue.  We had a lovely spread of food, including some kangaroo while listening to the Triple J Hottest 100 countdown.

In the evening I headed down to the Vibe Hotel Carlton to help out Clinton with the 22 Chinese Language Assistants he had picked up from the airport.  Okay, I really went because I got a free dinner.  In any case, the funniest thing was that as we sat down to dinner, Clinton introduced me and the Language Assistants broke out into applause.  A chatted to a few of them during dinner, and one girl said the 12 hour flight from Beijing was her first time on an airplane.  They will have two days of orientation and then go off to their respective school placements and home stays around the state.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Gotye- The National Theatre

After work I met up with Tash and Mary in the city and then we drove down to St. Kilda to see Gotye (aka Wally De Backer) play a sold out show at The National Theatre.  Opening the evening was Tash Parker, who played a solo set on both acoustic and electric guitar with the occasional pre-recorded loop thrown in.  She has a great voice and Wally joined her for a couple of songs, including a duet that they wrote together.

Gotye took the stage to large cheers and began his hour long set with the new single "Eyes Wide Open."  For this show Wally had two other musicians accompanying him while he played drums and his sampling keyboard.  Most of the songs during the evening were from the album Like Drawing Blood, including "Coming Back," "Hearts A Mess," and "Thanks For Your Time" which had a brilliant bit in the middle about being on hold to Vodafone.  We got three new songs that sounded fantastic, a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Seems So Long Ago, Nancy" with just Wally on the piano, and "The Only Thing I Know" from his first album Boardface.  Wally finished his set with "Learnalilgivinanlovin" and received a standing ovation from the crowd.  It's good to have Gotye back on the Melbourne music scene and I look forward to the release of his new album (whenever that may be).

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

After a half day at work and a brief respite from the 40/104 degree heat I headed into the city to meet up with Chantal and her cousin and friends for a lovely New Year's Eve dinner at Seamstress on Lonsdale Street.  They had a 7 course degustation menu with the option of wine matching with each course.  Here is what we ate:
  • Peking duck consomme with shaved green lip abalone and quad of poached Chinese mushrooms
  • Pan seared wild harvest scallop stuffed with tailor made XO on poached iceberg lettuce
  • Swallowed clouds... poached won tons of snake bean and golden sweet kaukau with green pea puree, coriander foam and flying fish roe
  • Terrine of pork hock and oolong tea smoked duck with pickled watermelon
  • Hiramasa kingfish carpaccio with young coconut, lime and pomegranate dressed in snow pea tendrils
  • Cleansing parsley and lemon sorbet
  • Crisp fried five spice quail, salad of fresh garden herbs, cucumber julienne and pink ginger
  • Ponzu marinated wagyu and twice cooked pork belly served with drunken potatoes and gai larn
  • Petit fours and coffee
The food was amazing and just the perfect amount over the few hours we were there.  My favorite courses were the won tons and the quail.  After we finished eating it was very close to midnight so we rushed outside just in time to see bits of the fireworks show that were happening along the Yarra River.  We wandered for a bit around the city and down to Federation Square before heading home.  Happy New Year to you all and may 2011 live up to and exceed your expectations.
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