Friday, July 28, 2017

Gertrude Street Projection Festival 2017

It's the tenth anniversary of the Gertrude Street Projection Festival, which has grown over the years to become a key cultural event in Melbourne each winter. Once again there were a wide variety of different projections displayed on the facades and alleyways along Gertrude Street.

Of the smaller wall projections I really liked Peter Waples-Crowe with Megan Evans piece Squatters & Savages which showed colonial occupation from both perspectives. Riza Manalo's Visitor III demonstrated the fluidity of physical movement, while Glynn Urquhart's Future Flesh Forms explored the interactions of technology and living tissue through 3D animation.

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

Once again this year the Atherton Gardens had different installations on display. Some of my favorites were Anne Truong and Dave Anderson's Light Cycles, Annie Edney's Moon Ball, Toggles Alternate Power Generator with its moving mobile and Prativa Thamang's Fall Into The Skies.

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

It took a week to get working, but there were also large scale projections on the Atherton Towers, this year on the Atherton Gardens side of the building. Susan Maco Forrester and Jody Haines' piece Future is Now! explored the voyages of ancestors and identity.

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

Other large scale building projections along Gertrude Street included Ash Coates' Mycolinguistics (Rubico-Sterolosis or Oneness) on the Gertrude Hotel and Amanda Morgan's If they build a wall, we can scale it on the Builders Arms.

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

Skunk Control had another amazing window display this year with Three / Four, which shows the now constantly lit warning sirens as we head to the end.

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

The Gertrude Street Projection Festival is on until Sunday, 30 July 2017.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Father John Misty- Melbourne Recital Centre

While out in Australia for Splendour In The Grass, Father John Misty scheduled a couple of intimate sideshows in support of his latest album Pure Comedy. Tonight's sold out show was at the Melbourne Recital Centre. Opening the evening was singer-songwriter Angie McMahon, who played a solo set on electric guitar and sounded fantastic with her deep voice and atmospheric songs.

Father John Misty's band emerged on the stage first and then Josh Tillman came out to join them as they launched into the opening song "Pure Comedy." The first four songs of the set were in order off the new album with "Total Entertainment Forever," "Things It Would Have Been Helpful To Know Before The Revolution" and "Ballad Of The Dying Man." Josh danced and gyrated around the stage throughout the night and delivered those wonderful lyrics in his typical self-deprecating and deadpan manner. It was great to hear "When You're Smiling And Astride Me," "Fun Times In Babylon," "Nancy From Now On" and "True Affection."

Josh wasn't as chatty as the other times I've seen him live, but he did have a few funny interactions with the crowd. In response to a guy shouting out his love he spoke of reaching his aim of being "knee deep in random dudes." He also joked about facial hair and the controversy around his moustache when the album came out (and its association with paedophiles) so he has grown back his beard (which he noted is associated with murderers). Towards the end of the set a few people were brave enough to jump up out of their seats at the start of "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings" and he then invited the rest of the crowd to get up for "I Love You, Honeybear," which closed out the main set.

For the encore as we were all still standing, Josh joked that they were going to scrap their sophisticated encore and just play bangers. We were treated to "Read Love Baby," "Holy Shit" and "The Ideal Husband." It was great to get the opportunity to see Father John Misty play in a more intimate and relaxed setting, but I'm sure he'll be hitting bigger venues when he comes back to Australia to tour the album.

Here's the video for "Pure Comedy"

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Slow Dancer- In A Mood Tour

Slow Dancer celebrated the release of his second album In A Mood tonight with an album launch at The Gasometer Hotel. Opening the evening was Tim Harvey's latest project Real Feelings. The four piece band, which also contained Liam Halliwell from The Ocean Party, had some lengthy jams and a bit of a groove to their songs. Next up was POPPONGENE (aka Sophie Treloar) and her band, which had a very guitar-based sound with a bit of shoegaze at some points. We thought they sounded really good.

Slow Dancer (aka Simon Okley) was in his usual white jeans and jacket as he took to the stage with his band and started with "In The Water," the opening track off In A Mood. The crowd was very attentive and polite throughout his set, with highlights being "Don't Believe," "Bitter," "It Goes On" (which may be my favorite song released this year), and beautiful versions on acoustic guitar of "Please" and "I Would" that had everyone captivated. Simon joked that we were missing the start of the Tour de France coverage (which was amusing as I had a conversation with Ebony before he started playing about Peter Sagon's disqualification) and also acknowledged it was NAIDOC week. The evening finished with "Cornerstone" and the funniest moment of the night when Simon realised he forgot to take the capo off his guitar as he hit the first chorus. Unfortunately there wasn't an encore, but it's always an enjoyable experience to get to see Slow Dancer perform live.

Here's the video for "It Goes On":

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Kevin Chin - Refuge

This afternoon I went to the opening of Kevin Chin's latest exhibition Refuge at This Is No Fantasy + dianne tanzer gallery. Comprising five paintings, the exhibition focuses on the themes of journey, transition and sanctuary. It explores global migration, with time spent in Indonesia and Japan influencing the mixed sense of place in the works.

Kevin's paintings are very detailed with some abstract portions, and I really liked his use of bright colors. It was good to be able to catch up with both Kevin and his partner Clinton at the opening, and they will soon be heading off to the US as Kevin has an artist residency at Yellowstone National Park. Refuge runs until 25 July 2017.

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