17 December

The Home Barista steams up coffee fans

Posted by in Coffee, News

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 4.01.11 PM

Being a food critic, Simone Egger understands well the erotic appeal of slow drips and frothy tops. To this end, she’s written a new book, The Home Barista, that instructs you step by step on how to properly use that home coffee machine you’ve been creating mutant brews with. The Home Barista will coach you on the best beans and the correct lingo, but we’ve pulled out her instructions on getting the milk just so. Over to you, Simone…

Texturing uses the machine’s steam to aerate and heat milk, which alters the milk’s sugars and proteins to make it sweeter and fuller. The aim is to get froth that is smooth and creamy, low on bubbles and cool enough to drink straight away. Overheated milk will mess up the coffee’s flavour and ruin any chance of that ideal, creamy microfoam, so practice and practice some more until you get it right, because there are few feelings more satisfying than pouring perfectly-textured milk.… Read more

15 December

Review: Meredith Music Festival 2014


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

10 December

Huxtaburger serves up backstage burgers at A Day On The Green to rock stars – and you?

Huxtaburger pops up

The lads from Huxtaburger have teamed up with Yarra Valley music series A Day On The Green to feed artists and crew with backstage burgers. That’s right: the likes of John Legend, Jimmy Barnes, Roxette, Billy Idol, Angels, Cheap Trick and the Black Keys will soon be tucking into a Denise or a Theo (the burger joint’s most famous creations) before hitting the stage. We bet the boys behind the buns (Daniel Wilson, Dante Ruaine and Jeff Wong) never expected to serve rock star patrons when they first opened in Collingwood in 2011.

So what does this union have to do with you? Everything, if you love burgers and music. Huxtaburger are giving one lucky social media user (and a mate) the chance to win tickets to one of the Day on the Green gigs and eat burgers backstage. All you need to do jump onto their Facebook page and share/comment for a chance to win.… 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