18 February

Chrissy Amphlett – in our hearts and laneways

Posted by in Music, News

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Charley Drayton, Cold Chisel drummer and late rock goddess Chrissy Amphlett’s husband, misses his wife – but the opening of Amphlett Lane solidifies her place in Melbourne’s hearts and minds.

Two years ago, Drayton and Little Pattie (sassy ’60s icon and Amphlett’s cousin) bailed up Councillor Rohan Leppert on the steps of Town Hall. They were pissed off, grieving and on a mission. They brought a petition of over 6,000 signatures with them (including high-profile support from Molly Meldrum, Suze De Marchi and Noah Taylor). It was a no-brainer though: even the councillors voted unanimously in favour of it last year.

This arvo, if you’d been looking in on Amphlett Lane from the street you would’ve seen an eclectic mix of folk: suits, rock dogs and families. It made sense when you knew what was going on.

Naturally, Divinyls tunes blasted down the lane before and after the formal bits. I had one of them on cassingle as a kid (I Touch Myself). I had no idea what the hell it was about, I just knew that Amphlett was downright exotic in her difference.… Read more

15 December

Review: Meredith Music Festival 2014

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There are two kinds of people living in Victoria: those who have bathed in the glow of Meredith’s Supernatural Amphitheatre, and those who have not. There’s no shame in being in the latter category – it’s just difficult for Meredith devotees to describe the experience without going all teary-eyed and mumbling words like “BYO booze… only one stage… Ferris wheel… Inspiration Point… music?”

Still, we must try. Over two decades ago, a dude named Chris Nolan invited some mates to his farm to listen to his favourite local bands. Now, thousands of music-lovers plan their social calendar (and their personal finances) around one weekend in December. And if we didn’t see you in the crowd this year, then here are some moments that might make you reconsider your choices in 2015.

Best on-stage banter
Friday night, 10pm. A saxophonist in a sharp skipper’s outfit addresses the audience with a very serious expression on his face.… Read more

15 December

Stephen Cummings doco Don’t Throw Stones is crowdfunding a general release

Posted by in Movies, Music, News

Back in 2009, Stephen Cummings wrote a fine memoir about his time in the Sports. Will It Be Funny Tomorrow, Billy? documented each epic disappointment that an anxious young chap in a rising band might encounter. It was imbued with a very gloomy (some might say very English), just-my-luck humour that made it stand out from the memoirs of his peers.

And now it’s a film. Don’t Throw Stones, a documentary by filmmaker Mike Brooks that premiered at MIFF, uses the brilliantly simple premise of giving people in the book the right of reply. Just as Cummings reads passages from the book, so do former band mates, industry big-hitters and friends, who then respond – sometimes with great indignation, sometimes with regret. Many of them, after all, painfully experienced firsthand Cummings’ refusal to jump through the hoops of the American record label, bringing the band to a grinding halt when on the brink of making it huge.… Read more

9 December

Aussie indie film shines a light onto Melbourne’s music scene – and it needs your help

Posted by in Movies, Music, News

Play it Safe 1

So you’re hoping to make an independent feature film in Australia, and you don’t have any government or commercial funding. If you’re not already packing some serious coin, bringing your film to life isn’t going to be easy.

Your solution? Like many musicians, artists and filmmakers, crowd-funding could very well be your saviour. Such is the case with indie film Play it Safe: a Melbourne flick that dives into our city’s music scene.

Play it Safe is the story of 26-year-old musician Jamie, who gets a soul-crushing job at a school after his band breaks up. It’s a sticky place that most artists find themselves in at some point or another: do you break out on your own and take the risk of failure – or do you play it safe?

Melbourne writer and director Chris Pahlow is the driving force behind the film. A long-time lover of the local music scene, he’s directed music videos for the likes of hip-hop artists Mantra and Allday.… Read more

5 December

Merry Lynchmas, Melbourne: Jazz Party presents a Twin Peaks Christmas party

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Until right this second, you never knew how much you wanted to go to a Twin Peaks-themed party. Now that you do, you’re happier than Agent Cooper tucking into his first damn good cherry pie.

While Santa’s saddling up his reindeer, the John Curtin Hotel will transform into One Eyed Jacks (that’s the casino/brothel in Twin Peaks, if your memory is a little rusty). The event is courtesy of the guys from Melbourne music collective Jazz Party – and they’re really committing to the theme.

Take the food and drinks, for example: there’ll be coffee and pie, as well as cocktails including the spicy Fire Walk With Me, the sweet Agent Cooper’s Breakfast Syrup and the mysterious Log Lady’s Secret. Tunes-wise, get set for live sets by Mojo Juju, Daniel Merriweather, Loretta Miller, Simone Page Jones and Kira Puru, as well as DJ sets from Percy Valentine and Chinabone.

But most importantly, what are you going to wear?… Read more