Thursday, June 21, 2012

New Directions for School Leadership and the Teaching Profession

This morning I was privileged to attend the launch of the discussion paper I've been working on New directions for school leadership and the teaching profession by the Premier, Minister responsible for the Teaching Profession, and Minister for Education at Parliament House.  The paper outlines the Government's strategy for moving the Victorian education system into the global top tier by improving the teaching profession.  The three key reform areas focus on attracting great people into teaching, creating a high performing profession, and leaders providing strong direction and support.  Consultation on the paper will now occur over the next few months, and should lead to a longer term strategy.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Bamboos- Medicine Man Tour

It has been ages since I last saw Danny and Ruth, so when they suggested I come along to see The Bamboos play at the Corner Hotel last night it was hard to say no.  We met up for dinner beforehand at Fonda Mexican on Swan Street in Richmond, and were also joined for the evening by Ruth's cousin Anne.  As you know I am always on the hunt for great Mexican food in Melbourne and am often let down.  The vegetarian burrito I had was good but I would have preferred rice instead of quinoa.  I will give Fonda Mexican props for having a kangaroo burrito on the menu though.

We arrived at the Corner Hotel half way through AXOLOTL's set. Their songs were very atmospheric and featured Ella Thompson on lead vocals (she is also part of The Bamboos). The last song they played "Electricity" was best of the ones we heard.

I must admit that I know very little about The Bamboos, even though they have been around for over a decade and have just released their fifth album.  The brainchild of bandleader Lance Ferguson, this Melbourne soul and funk outfit features main vocalist Kylie Auldist as well as some big name guest musicians on their latest album Medicine Man.  Their set was entertaining and had the crowd moving throughout the night.  Unfortunately Tim Rogers wasn't there to sing lead vocals on "I Got Burned" but we were treated to special guest vocalists Bobby Flynn, Daniel Merriweather, and Megan Washington who did three songs with the band and was amazing.  They finished the night with "Keep Me In Mind."

Here's the video for the single "I Got Burned" (featuring Tim Rogers)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Major Tom And The Atoms- Shake It Til You Break It EP Launch

Last night it was time to get atomic again for the Shake It Til You Break It EP launch by Major Tom and The Atoms at The Evelyn Hotel.  Mary and I took advantage of the deal to received the EP for free with a pre-purchased ticket.

The first act for the evening was Quang Dinh and Band (tentatively called Naked Bodies).  It was good to see Quang playing solo again as he has always been my favorite Little Red songwriter (shh, don't tell Tom).  He was joined on stage by a solid backing band for a short set that included the songs "Hollywood Blvd," "For Jane" and "Monkey Blues" (which I remembered from when I saw him play a few years ago).

Next up was Red Rockets of Borneo, a psychobilly sounding rock band from Melbourne.  Their front man was very charismatic and entertaining as he danced around and I thought their songs were good.

Major Tom and the Atoms emerged onto a dimly lit and smoky stage to big cheers from the crowd.  They played a tight set of songs from the EP as well as other unreleased tracks.  Sean roamed into the crowd several times while playing the saxophone and highlights of the set were "Rolling Stone," "Hey Flo" and an absolutely cracking version of "The House That Love Built."  They finished the night with their current single "Mockingbird" and had everyone clapping along to the rhythm.  It was great to see such a big turn out for the launch and lots of people dancing at the front of the stage.  I highly recommend the EP, which you can order from their website.

Here's the video for "The House That Love Built"
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