21 December

How do we choose which Melbourne venues to support?

Posted by in News, Politics

Time Out Melbourne

With the Palace Theatre battle heading to VCAT and Bennetts Lane on the chopping block, one expert suggests that to save these venues we could treat them like churches…
It’s not hard to imagine Divinyls singer Chrissy Amphlett (RIP) tossing her auburn hair in rage and screaming like a banshee when the Palace Theatre’s trashed interiors were hauled out its stage door in November and dumped in the newly-named Amphlett Lane.

The Palace Theatre’s slated replacement by a private hotel has been hard-fought. The 1,850 capacity gig at the top of Bourke Street has hosted theatre, music and cinema in style since 1912. It has been a crucial Melbourne city venue for a plethora of Australian tours since the ’80s. Eddie Perfect, SLAM, Save the Palace, Melbourne Heritage Action, Music Victoria, Australian Music Museum Project and 38,000 petition-signing members of the public joined forces to fight the development at Melbourne City Council, which recently denied developer Jinshan’s latest (of many) plans to raze the building.… Read more

18 December

Mr Burger opens new permanent store in Fitzroy, gives out free burgers this Saturday

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No doubt you’ve spotted the bright orange trucks rolling around Melbourne, bringing smiles at every stop with their fresh, tasty, no-frills burgers.There are permanent Mr Burger stores in Chapel Street, the Queen Vic Market and the CBD, but this time, the guys are coming to Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.

This Saturday, you’ll find cheery guys and gals flipping patties at the brand new store, where you can nab free burgers from 11.30am to 3pm. Just like the truck, the store design allows you to watch your beef or veg patty sizzling right in front of you.

Aside from the comfort of knowing that this Mr Burger joint can’t suddenly take off, the other major benefit is the beer on tap. Plus, all your favourite sides are here. Their famous Trucker Fries come with bacon, cheese and special sauce. So necessary. So delicious.

Mr Burger: Fitzroy, opens Saturday December 20.Read more

17 December

The Home Barista steams up coffee fans

Posted by in Coffee, News

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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

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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