Monday, October 27, 2014

Booze For A Cause

It's been ages since I last saw Tash due to her fly in, fly out job and constant travels.  To celebrate her birthday she invited people to join her at Cuban-themed bar Los Barbudos in Fitzroy for their monthly charity event Booze For A Cause.  Tonight a percentage of the bar proceeds, as well as $10 from every African Feast sold by The Voodoo Jerk Truck upstairs, went to benefit the non-profit organisation Scarf.  Scarf trains young people in hospitality by giving them hands-on experience, mentoring and networks in the industry so that they can gain employment after completing the ten-week program.  It was great be able to learn about and support such a wonderful organisation while catching up with Tash and everyone else over drinks and a yummy dinner. 

Here's a little video about Scarf that was done to celebrate their recent 4th birthday:
Scarf from Hannah Colman on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Kris Schroeder- The Union Hotel Brunswick

In what's becoming a bit of a trend, I spent another Sunday afternoon seeing Kris Schroeder play live, this week at The Union Hotel Brunswick.  It's hard for me not to go when he is playing at venues so close to home.  The hour long acoustic set was similar to last week with a mix of solo and Basics songs.  We were treated to three tracks off his solo EP Patience In The Face Of Control: "I Don't Feel Safe," "Worried Man" and "Walk Beside White."  The new Basics songs played included "Whatever Happened To The Working Class," "Tunaomba Saidia," "To Think Of You" and his first solo attempt at the upcoming single "The Lucky Country."  I thought Kris sounded really good this week and I was glad he did older faves "All Or Nothing" and "What Do You See In Me?" again.  Of course it wouldn't be a true Kris/Basics show without covers, and we got to hear Neil Young's "Out On The Weekend" and Crowded House's "Fall At Your Feet," which was the last song for the afternoon.  Fingers crossed that The Basics Rock'n'Roll Party (BRRP) gets enough members signed up with the Victorian Electoral Commission this week to be able to run in the November state election (and the looming deadline of the caretaker period will be absorbing a lot of time for me at work!).

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City FC

The A-League season commenced a couple weeks ago, and tonight was the first of the Melbourne Derby games between Melbourne Victory and the newly branded Melbourne City FC (formerly Melbourne Heart).  Justin was kind enough to invite Neil and me to come along to this sold out match at Etihad Stadium.  His seats were ridiculously close as we were eight rows up near the center of the field (Etihad moved all the lower level seats out towards the rectangular ground).  The atmosphere of the game was fantastic, and the North end Victory fans were lighting flares even before the match had started! 

Melbourne City FC struck with the first goal in the 13th minute, but Victory tied things up about 10 minutes later with a goal from Archie Thompson.  Then City came back to score again within the next 5 minutes, and held a 2-1 lead until Victory's Besart Berisha tied it up just before half time.  In the second half it was all Victory as Berisha again scored right at the start of the half and in the 67th minute.  To put the icing on the cake Thompson got another goal a few minutes before the end of match resulting in a 5-2 win for Victory.  The crowd were super excited throughout and flares got lit after each goal.  We were also lucky to get to watch Spanish player David Villa, who is on loan for up to 10 games to Melbourne City FC from New York City FC, which will compete for the first time in the MLS in 2015.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Before I Go To Sleep

Continuing the theme of psychological thrillers, Onagh and I went to see Before I Go To Sleep after work tonight at the Kino Cinemas.  Based on the novel by S. J. Watson, the film stars Nicole Kidman as Christine Lucas, a 40 year-old woman who wakes up each morning with no memory of her life post her early twenties.  Her husband Ben (Colin Firth) has to patiently explains who he is each day and that she suffers from amnesia after a traumatic brain injury ten years earlier.  Wanting to get better, Christine starts to secretly see Dr. Nasch (Mark Strong), a neurologist who gets her to keep a video diary at the end of each day with any thoughts and memories she has.  He then rings her in the morning to tell her about the camera and gets her to watch her previous recordings.  He also takes her to places that will hopefully jog her memory in order to put together what happened to her.  The movie is tense throughout as you learn more about her past and the fact that Ben is hiding things from her.  Overall I thought it was good, but I really didn't like the ending at all as it didn't fit with the tone of the rest of the film.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Kris Schroeder- Victoria Hotel

Continuing my gigs in Brunswick weekend I headed over to the Victoria Hotel this afternoon to see Kris Schroeder from The Basics play two solo sets on acoustic guitar in the beer garden.  Kris chose a wide selection of songs, including a couple solo tracks and some of the newer Basics material such as "Tunaomba Saidia," "Whatever Happened To The Working Class" and "To Think Of You."  Kris was in good spirits as he whipped through his set list in front of the small crowd, even though some weren't really paying attention.  Melbourne may be a music town but audience chatter when musicians are playing is a continuous and annoying problem.

Having two sets allowed for some rarely played Basics songs to make an appearance, including "Memory Lane," "Feels Like Love," "I Don't Need Another," and a selection of tracks off the Keep Your Friends Close album: "Keep The Door Open," "The Day Mairead Goes Away," "What Do You See In Me?" and "All Or Nothing."  To finish things off we were treated to covers of Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" and Crowded House's "Better Be Home Soon."  Kris says he will be playing a number of solo shows in the coming weeks around Brunswick so I look forward to catching him again very soon!

The Harpoons- Falling For You Tour

It's taken over six years but The Harpoons have finally released their debut album Falling For You, which they launched at a sold out show at Howler in Brunswick last night.  Although this venue is very close to home, it was the first time both Belinda and I have been inside.  The design of the space is quite nice and the band room has a big stage.

We arrived midway through the set of opening act Dorkus Malorkus (aka Cassie Wood), who had more melancholy songs that she played both solo on electric guitar and with a couple other musicians.  Next up was Kirkis, a five piece jazz-funk band headed up by Matthew Kirkis, which sounded pretty good and brought a lot of energy to the room.  They played their songs live on instruments while also incorporating some samples into the mix. 

The room was completely packed by the time The Harpoons hit the stage and launched into "Keep You Around."  Most of the songs played throughout the night were off their debut album, with the highlights being "Never Stop Loving You," "Can We Work This Out" with Martin King up the front of stage singing, "Falling For You" and "Walk Away."  Bec Rigby absolutely nailed her vocals on the soulful "Ring Ring" and old favorite "Faith," which was great to hear live again.  We were even treated to a couple new songs by Henry Madin.  Towards the end of the set they brought out members of the opening bands and other friends to sing and play along on some songs, including the single "Unforgettable," which got the biggest crowd response of the night.  For the encore they did a cover of John Paul Young's "Love is in the Air."  I'm so happy The Harpoons have finally released an album, and I hope we don't have such a long wait for the next one.

Here's the video for the latest single "Can We Work This Out"

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Gone Girl

In order to escape the warm weather today Onagh and I met up at the Kino Cinemas for a midday showing of Gone Girl, based on Gillian Flynn's book of the same name (she also adapted the screenplay).  The basic plot is that Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) discovers that his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) has gone missing on their fifth wedding anniversary.  As the police investigate her disappearance, Nick becomes the main suspect.  Without giving too much of the plot away, the movie flashes back between the past and present as you learn about their relationship and life together.  I went into the film not knowing anything about the story, so I found it to be a good psychological thriller with many plot twists.  I also thought it was a great commentary on the current state of 24 hour news channels and trial by media, which happens all too often in the USA.  I would definitely recommend seeing this film- especially before you get spoiled about the ending.

Afterwards we went and had a late lunch at Chin Chin on Flinders Lane, which amazingly was the first time I've eaten there.  We got a table pretty quick but it was still packed out even though it was mid-afternoon.  The South-East Asian flavors were really good, especially on the salmon dish we shared.  I look forward to going back there to sample more of their extensive menu.
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