Wednesday, April 16, 2014

MICF: Sara Pascoe Vs The Truth

Tonight's Melbourne International Comedy Festival show pick was done by Onagh for Sara Pascoe Vs The Truth.  Sara is from the UK and was the first international comedian I've seen at the festival this year.  Her show explored themes around what is true or actually real in life through personal ante dotes about her family, boyfriend and herself. It was a good stand-up set that wove things together in the end with some interesting observations on doppelgangers, feminism, whether we are living our own versions of the Truman Show, and the acting ability of Andie Macdowell.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

StArt Up: Top Arts 2014

I was fortunate enough to attend the opening of StArt Up: Top Arts 2014 this evening at the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia in Federation Square.  The exhibition presents outstanding work by students who completed Art or Studio Arts studies in the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) in 2013.  From over 3,000 submissions, 49 students were chosen to exhibit their work.  These were some of my favorites pieces:
Gemma Topliss
June Uili- Sina and the tuna
Paris Triantis

Hieu Nguyen- Mind like a river
The exhibition runs from 11 April - 20 July so be sure to check out the works of these talented young artists.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

MICF: Celia Pacquola

This evening Belinda joined me at the Swiss Club for Celia Pacquola's Melbourne International Comedy Festival show titled Let Me Know How It All Works Out.  Celia told a well-woven story centering around her love of psychics, even while admitting she would mock anyone else who visits them or wears crystals like she does.  One day at a UK music festival though things changed when Celia received a disturbing palm reading in a tent by "Tony."  The news had her questioning her beliefs, especially after visiting a doctor and being given evidence that refuted what she was told.  She also talked about events in her life, and I could definitely relate to her love of the tv show Hoarders and feeling rage against those with air-conditioning during Melbourne heat waves.  Celia cleverly joined up the bits and pieces of the show at the end and even gave us an epilogue like in the movies.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

MICF: Fiona O'Loughlin and Wil Anderson

For the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this evening Onagh and I took advantage of the Tightarse Tuesday prices to see two veterans of the Australian comedy scene.  First up was Fiona O'Loughlin at the Melbourne Town Hall with her show My Brilliant Career, which she admitted was a bit of a tongue-in-cheek title.  Fiona told several stories about her personal and professional life throughout the years, which ranged from an embarrassing encounter with actor Aidan Quinn in Edinburgh, finding and taking an ecstasy tablet 5 years after it was given to her, and an unlikely friendship with an American living in Alice Springs.  The stories were told with a warm and wicked sense of humor and highlighted the freedom one can have in life just by being able to laugh.

Next we headed to The Comedy Theatre for Wil Anderson's show Wiluminati.  This is his 19th year at the festival, but the first time I have seen him live.  Wil did a very tight and funny stand-up set with interweaving stories.  He talked about the positive sign he received in New York City ten years ago before his first stand-up performance there, the offensiveness of Outback Steakhouse restaurants to Australians, a gig in Fairbanks, Alaska where a survivalist woman tried to pick him up with a memorable line, and living with the osteoarthritis in his hips and the sex tips he was given by a 70 year-old occupational therapist.  Let me just say that I will never look at pillows the same way again.  A heckler nearly spoiled the entire ending to the show by shouting out the closing punch line, but thankfully those of us in the upper part of the theatre didn't hear what was said.  After admonishing him for a few minutes Wil commenced the conclusion of the show again and still got the laughs from the crowd.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

John Butler Trio- Flesh + Blood Tour

Last night Belinda and I headed down to the Palais Theatre after work to see John Butler Trio play the first of their two Melbourne shows in support of the new album Flesh + Blood.  We had ridiculously close seats in the third row thanks to my friend Ben, which provided us with an amazing view of John's awesome guitar playing.  It's a real joy to watch such talented musicians and I was in awe of the sounds John managed to get out of an acoustic guitar by running it through various pedals.  The instrumental track "Ocean" had the audience on its feet at the end, and we got to stay there as the band played favorites such as "Better Than," "Don't Want To See Your Face," and "Zebra," complete with a call and response from the crowd.  As it was John's 39th birthday we got to sing to him as a cake was brought out onto the stage.  We were also treated to a guest performance by Ainslie Wills, who joined the band to sing her part on "Young and Wild," which was a lovely song.  The evening finished with a ripping version of "Funky Tonight" that had everyone in the venue dancing.  It was a pretty incredible night with nearly 2 1/2 hours of live music.

Here's the video for "Only One" (complete with zombies!):

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