Thursday, September 17, 2015

Luna- Australian Tour 2015

Luna made some of the dreamiest indie rock music of the 1990s and early 2000s, so I was very excited to learn that after 10 years apart they decided to reunite for a tour. Belinda joined me for tonight's sold out show at the Northcote Social Club, which looks great after its recent refurbishment. The opening act was Melbourne band The Sand Pebbles, who sounded good and had people in the crowd singing along to their songs.

Although I was a big fan of Luna when they were still together, this was my first time getting to see them play live. The set list contained songs from throughout their career, with the majority of tracks coming from their mid-1990s releases Bewitched, Penthouse and Pup Tent. It was great to hear "California (All The Way)," "Chinatown," "Sideshow By The Seashore," "23 Minutes In Brussels," "Tracy I Love You" and "Speedbumps." The band were just amazing and there were some really transcendent moments, with the absolute highlight of the night being "Friendly Advice" and Dean Wareham's fantastic guitar solo. They really dipped into the back catalogue for the last song of the night "Indian Summer," which was off the Slide EP. This was such a great evening and the whole show left my 1990s heart full of joy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Who Wants To Be A Prime Minister?

press conference, leadership spill
Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
If you ever hear the phrase "It's on" in Australia it can mean only one thing - a leadership spill. When I was studying here in 1996 John Howard became Prime Minister, and was still in power when I migrated back nearly 10 years ago. However, since 2007 there have been 5 leadership changes, including last night when Malcolm Turnbull challenged Tony Abbott for the leadership of the Liberal Party and won 54-44.

Leadership spills are becoming a national pastime, and considering Abbott's unpopularity it wasn't that big of a surprise. Social media kicked in to mark Abbott's demise even before the party room vote with the inspired #PutYourOnionsOut (in honor of him inexplicably eating a raw onion at a farm visit in Tasmania).

Turnbull is more libertarian and socially progressive than Abbott, being for marriage equality, believing in climate change, and having previously led the Australian Republican Movement. There is a lot he could do to restore Australia's reputation internationally, but it remains to be seen how he will deal with the more conservative elements of his party.
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