Sunday, August 21, 2011

Footy in Sydney

Since I didn't have any solid plans for today, I joined Tash for the train ride out to ANZ Stadium at Olympic Park for the Sydney v. St Kilda footy match.  I'm a bit embarrassed that this was my first footy game of the year (and not even an Essendon one).  Before it started though there was an AFL International Cup match between South Africa and the USA, which the USA won!

Tash's friend Belinda joined us for the Sydney match.  We were quite amused throughout the game as the big screens were used to explain the footy rules to the crowd as things happened on the field.  I know rugby is the preferred sport outside of Victoria, but this was a bit ridiculous.  The game was close, and although St Kilda led for most of the afternoon, Sydney won in the end (despite their inaccurate kicking). 

Final Score
Sydney Swans: 10.23 (83)
St Kilda Saints: 10.8 (68)

After the game we headed back into the city for a bit before catching the train out to the airport for our flight home.  We spotted a few of the St Kilda players at the airport at Krispy Kreme of all places.  We flew Tiger Airways back to Melbourne and I thought Tash was joking when she said their terminal was in a shed.  Sadly she was telling the truth- it was comical.  You even have to walk back to the main terminal to catch a taxi!  In any case, it was a fun little weekend trip away and a brief preparation for my much longer flights to the States in a couple weeks time.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Gotye- Graphic Festival

The main reason for our trip to Sydney was to see the animated album launch of Gotye's Making Mirrors at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, which was part of the Graphic Festival. We had pretty incredible seats in the fourth row with a great view of the stage and screens.  The show started with Shaun Tan's Oscar winning animated short film The Lost Thing with a small group of musicians playing a live score. 

After the stage was rearranged Gotye and his 10 piece mini-orchestra came out. They were lucky to make it after also getting caught up in the flight delays/cancellations in Melbourne this morning due to the fog.  The set started with "Making Mirrors" and then launched into "Eyes Wide Open."  Wally played nearly all of Making Mirrors and many of the songs had animations to accompany them.  It made it hard to know where to look because you would get absorbed in the animations but also want to watch these songs being created live on stage by the musicians.

"State Of The Art" was my favorite clip of the show, directed and animated by Greg Sharp and Ivan Dixon at Rubber House.

Another great clip was for the song "Bronte," which was directed and animated by Ari Gibson at Mechanical Apple with background art by Jason Pamment.

The biggest reaction of the night was for the current number 1 single in Australia, "Somebody That I Used To Know."  As the song reached the verse that is sung by Kimbra, we wondered if she would be there to sing it and she was!  There were huge cheers when she walked on stage.  The video for this song has become a huge viral hit worldwide.

Besides the songs from Making Mirrors, we also got a couple of classics from Like Drawing Blood: the haunting "Hearts A Mess" and "Learnalilgivinanlovin," which was the last song of the night.  This show was amazing, and we are so happy for all the success that Wally is having at the moment.  I'm sure the album is going to debut at number 1, and all his Australian shows for the tour have sold out in record time.

Bad Fog and Sydney

Tash came and picked me up bright and early this morning to drive to the airport for our flight to Sydney.  However, I knew we would be in a bit of trouble since the fog was so thick.  As suspected our flight was delayed nearly 2 hours due to the "bad fog" (as one announcement called it) at Melbourne airport. We arrived in Sydney around noon and headed into the city to check into our secret deal hotel- The Grace Hotel with its beautiful art deco stylings and central location.

Tash headed off with her friends and I met up with Mel to hang out for the afternoon. We walked down to The Rocks where the weekend market was on and grabbed some gourmet wraps for lunch.  Since the weather was so nice we went to eat along the harbour and chatted for a bit. After lunch we wandered around The Rocks market stalls and grabbed some yummy gelato for dessert.  We then headed back into the city and checked out the Westfield Shopping Centre. Mel took me to this really awesome stationary store in there called Typo. I was good and didn't buy anything. We stopped for afternoon tea at Le Pain Quotidien (where I had an amazing fresh squeezed lemonade) and then said our goodbyes.

After resting for a bit at the hotel and watching the second half of the Essendon v. West Coast match (we lost), Tash and I walked to the harbour. We had dinner at The East Chinese Restaurant, grabbing a table outside along the water with excellent views of the Harbour Bridge.  Their Mongolian lamb dish was very good. After eating we headed for pre-show drinks at the Opera Bar, meeting up with some of Tash's friends before heading inside the Sydney Opera House to see Gotye.

Liam Finn- FOMO Tour

Tonight I headed to the Corner Hotel for Liam Finn's sold out show in support of his new album FOMO.  The opening band was Evil J & Saint Cecilia (aka EJ Barnes and Cecilia Herbert). Throughout their set they swapped playing guitar and bass, and utilized a drum machine and sampled vocal loops to build the rhythm tracks to the songs. Their harmonies were very strong and most of the songs were more mellow and had a bit of atmosphere to them. I really liked "Silver Spoons" and they finished with "Strange Beast."

The next band of the night was Big Scary, who started their set with "Autumn." They played a mix of old and new songs as they have been busy in the studio recording their debut album.  Highlights for me were "Apple Song," "Tuesday is Rent Day," "All That You've Got," "Falling Away" and "Mix Tape."

Liam Finn came out and began with an instrumental jam before launching into "I'll Be Lightning." For this tour Liam has a full band which includes his brother Elroy on drums and also EJ Barnes (who he toured with previously) on backing vocals and percussion.  They played a mix of songs from both his albums. "Second Chance" received a big audience sing along, and new songs such as "Don't Even Know Your Name" (my favorite track off FOMO) and "The Struggle" sounded great.  We even got "Plane Crash" from Liam and EJ's Champagne in Seashells EP.  They finished the main set with an epic version of "Lead Balloon" and broke some of their gear in the process.  For the encore they played "Jump Your Bones," and then Liam and EJ sang "Wide Awake on the Voyage Home."  Unfortunately I had to leave half way through the song in order to catch the last tram to the city, but it was an amazing show and so much fun to watch Liam alternate between guitar and drums on stage.

Here is Liam's video for "Cold Feet"

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Here is my confession.  What is yours?

PS: My confession won the CD prize pack contest!

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