30 January 2011

Sufjan: so amazement!

Sufjan Stevens' music must be seen as well as heard. @MissSophieMac said I'd be blown away and I was. He had a 10 piece orchestra on stage at times including two drum kits, four keyboards (maybe more), assorted guitars, a two-man brass section and two female backing vocalists who danced all night. They played mostly new music from The Age of Adz after a beautiful supporting show from one of their own: DM Stith.

It was full-on creativity surrounding the brilliant music with images, video, dance, costume, glitter, smoke and lighting. They are truly star people. The highlights for me were probably Vesuvius and the final song of the encore, the really wonderful Chicago.

Part of the way through he revealed that he was Steiner-schooled and I doubt that this came as a surprise to anyone who was revelling in his genius. It was an amazing show and a really memorable experience.

Thanks Jemima.

15 January 2011

Spectrum by Liana Thorpe


From a new exhibition at Gaffa www.gaffa.com.au

I was taking a visitor around Sydney today and we went to one of my favourite galleries. They had a new exhibition by glass artists. Sometimes I should not walk into exhibitions like this. I just could not control myself. Who knows where I will put it!

07 January 2011

Expensive semi-freddo

Very expensive coffee semi-freddo

Making this burnt out my old Bamix. Even if the recipe destructions say you must beat over heat for 4-5 minutes and then for a further 5-6 minutes away from heat, this still doesn't over-ride the Bamix manufacturer's destructions that you must not use it continuously for over 5 minutes. If you do, the magic smoke comes out and it is impossible to get it back in (thanks @greengecko29).

06 January 2011

Peter Pan for my niece Alexis

I bought my niece Alexis an illustrated copy of Peter and Wendy for her birthday and will give it to her tonight. I've written an abridged version of this inside the book for her:

In 2006, I visited the house where J.M. Barrie wrote Peter and Wendy (image above). I was trying to borrow a dagger once owned by T. E. Lawrence that was given to Kathleen Scott who was a sculptor. Her son, Wayland Hilton Young, second Baron Kennett owned the dagger and the house and had known Barrie when he was a small boy. He told me that Barrie had looked after Kathleen and Wayland’s older brother Peter in the house after the death of their father Captain Robert Falcon Scott in the Antarctic. Baron Kennett told me that Barrie had written Peter and Wendy in the house and as I looked out towards their backyard I could almost see fairies buzzing about in their trees.

Baron Kennet didn't lend me the dagger for an exhibition in Australia as he thought it was too far away. My visit to the house and the stories I heard there I will never forget.

05 January 2011

Rouleur magazine

Rouleur issue nineteen

I mentioned buying two issues of Rouleur yesterday. I read more today and fell in love with this magazine. 

It is probably the best magazine I've bought in ages. I must have been hiding under a rock for the last several years while most of the first 20 issues became collectors' items. The features, images, typography, paper and layout are magnificent. This issue has a beautiful feature on cycling photographer Bernard Thompson


04 January 2011

Out & about


I was out a lot today. Well, not as much as the Australian cricket team, but a lot nevertheless. 

I started back at the gym. It has been closed for the last two weeks so the weights can have a rest. As someone once said, all gyms are gay, but some are yet to admit it. As soon as I went in to the change room to put my things in a locker I was confronted by a naked man who seemed to be waiting for a comment from me about how well hung he is. I didn't, it was too early for that. 

After that I just wandered around at the shops, first in the city and then in Newtown and Annandale. I did find a cover for my baby BBQ, but he still doesn't have a gas bottle as there seems to have been a run on them recently. The city seemed full of shoppers, so who knows why the retailers are complaining about people shopping online. In some parts you could not move. I tried to get some foods at Broadway after walking back to my car from the city, but it was so full I drove into the carpark and straight out again.

I'm a magazine addict and purchased three today: the November 2010 issue of Wallpaper; and issues nineteen and twenty of Rouleur, a very stylish quarterly cycling magazine. Rouleur is a truly beautiful magazine. I love the layout, images and content. Wallpaper had a feature on the top 20 reasons to be in Australia and a very cute young man on the cover (Ben Waddell from The Men's Division). The "reasons" were an odd mix: cosmetics containers (of course); designer tables; sandwiches, a bar, vintage bike hire and dessert degustation from Melbin; Tasmanian things (four in all); some fairly dull-looking clothes(!); jewellery (sadly, not designed by Ian Thorpe); modernist furniture; beers (of course); the Chrysler Valiant VG (oh FFS!); urban art projets; a Sidknee hair salon; wearehunted.com (at last a real reason!); and a fashion designer (zzzzzzzzz).


03 January 2011


Honolulu sights

So @katejf has done it again and found me another out for this 12 day blog challenge. Here is my world travels map. Doesn't look that exciting does it? There are a lot of repeat visits represented here too. Maybe I need to get out more.

create your own visited country map 

And here is my USA map. DC is in there but you can hardly see it. Lots of repeat visits here too and I'm heading back to Hawaii in mid-2011 for a holiday for about my squillionth time. I love it and would live there tomorrow if someone offered me a job there.

create your own personalized map of the USA

Movie meme

Image from the last Deus swap meet, by me.

Today a meme from @katejf.

According to IMBD the top 25 grossing films of 2010 are:

Top 25 Box Office of 2010

(as of December 13, 2010)

  1. Toy Story 3 ($415M)
  2. Alice in Wonderland ($334.2M)
  3. Iron Man 2 ($312.1M)
  4. Eclipse ($300.5M) seen (over-rated)
  5. Inception ($292.5M) not seen yet, but I will, I um, seem to have um, 'acquired' a copy on my 'puter
  6. Deathly Hallows Part 1 ($259.2M)
  7. Despicable Me ($250.3.7M)
  8. Shrek Forever After ($238.4M)
  9. How to Train Your Dragon ($217.6M)
  10. The Karate Kid ($176.6M)
  11. Clash of the Titans ($163.2M)
  12. Grown Ups ($162M)
  13. Megamind ($140.6M)
  14. The Last Airbender ($131.6M)
  15. Shutter Island ($128M)
  16. The Other Guys ($119.2M)
  17. Salt ($118.3M)
  18. Tangled ($117.2M)
  19. Jackass 3-D ($116.8M)
  20. Valentine’s Day ($110.5M)
  21. Robin Hood ($105.3M) seen, on an aircraft (OK but they tried to make the story too historically relevant)
  22. The Expendables ($103.1M)
  23. Date Night ($98.7M)
  24. Due Date ($95.4M)
  25. Sex and the City 2 ($95.3M) I would struggle to think of a worse way to waste my time than seeing this

I have seen only two and may only see another couple. How many have you seen?

Of those I have not seen, the ones I want to are: not on this awfullist. And can I just add that after seeing Hugh Jackman's annoying Lipton Ice tea ads that I probably won't ever want to see another movie with him in it. They may well be worse than the whole McOprah "tourism" to MacCafe campaign.

If you want to see the whole list of 228 titles click here

Thanks again Kate.

01 January 2011

Music: my top 14 albums of 2010 (Part 2)

Here they are. The second lot. All released and purchased in 2010. There were a few albums that I wanted, but just didn't get around to purchasing like Fleet Foxes Fleet Foxes (2009 and therefore not eligible anyway) and LCD Soundsystem This is Happening. I also tried to buy Gorrillaz Plastic Beach, but when I went into the big store, I forgot the album name and could not read the fine print (i.e. the release date) and came away with Demon Days which is not as good. So let's just get on with it Dorothy:

Miami Horror: Illumination. Dance & House. I wasn't sure that I'd enjoy this album so much. I heard the strong influence of New Order on Sometimes and was immediately comforted. The G.L.O.V.E.S. extended mix of sometimes is also great. Melbin has so many talented peoples. 12/14

Midnight Juggernauts: Crystal Axis. Electronica/Dance. Another under-rated Melbin band that defies classification. Brilliant musics. I became obsessed with Vital Signs but the whole album is good and really showcases their enormous talent. 12/14

The National: High Violet. Indie Rock. This is critically acclaimed by those who know these things. It is a good album, but I doubt it is any better than most on my Top 14. Mature, dark, thinking person's rock. I'd have liked more happiness. It is the kid of album you can always admit to owning because it impresses your friends that you have such great taste. Bloodbuzz Ohio is a great single. 12/14

Children Collide: Theory of Everything. Indie Rock. I bought this because Jelly Legs fascinated me. I don't know why. Maybe the strong base line. I was surprised at how many tracks I liked on the album. They're a Melbin band and have a very Australian sound. Almost punk-like vocals. Arrows is probably my fave, but I also love My Eagle. 13/14.

Cloud Control: Bliss Release. Alternative & Punk. This band is the only Australian band not from Melbin. They hail from the Blew Mountayns near Sidknee and this is their "dee-butt" album (I didn't watch the award show where dee-butt became famous, but I heard about it the next day on Triple J). Anywho, back to Cloud Control now. Meditation Song #2 is probably my fave song of 2010. I just love all of it: the vocals, the distorted guitar, the change of pace and tempo, everything! So excitement. I hope they do many more albums. 13/14

Jinja Safari: Jinja Safari (EP). Alternative & Punk. Your reviewer has almost as much excitement about Peter Pan as Cloud Control. And like Cloud Control, they are also the only Australian band not based in Melbin. You work that out. Their music makes me want to buy a Morris Dancing outfit and some sticks and dance around a pole at a fair. I can't wait for the full album. 13/14

Birds of Tokyo: Birds of Tokyo. Alternative & Punk. A very mature world class album that has been very well produced. It has many good tracks like Plans (my fave) and Wild at Heart. Nothing on the album that I don't like. 13/14.