Rebrand: briana.jpg

This is the official post to say I will now be using this blog again, as well as posting work that I have already written in various locations so it can all be in one convenient location —-> My live via the internet aka briana.jpg

I decided to use this blog, made in my first year of uni, rather than make a new one since who needs a new start? and it’s nice to see how far I’ve come (so far I hope) and to keep a record of how long I have been embarrassing myself on the internet (ha)

CAN’T STOP TALKING TO CHARLES SALE OF BABAGANOUJ!

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THIS POST IS AN ARCHIVE

Forming in 2011 fresh off the breakup of Yves Klien Blue (RIP), local Brisbane legends Babaganouj consists of four very talented individuals that have some how found each other to create what most Brisbane locals refer to as one of their favourites. Whether you’re into witty lyrics, killer rhythm or just want something nice to drive along to, Babaganouj are the band for you. We got to speak to frontman, Charles Sale, about the Brisbane music scene, their upcoming Bigsound gig, and obvious mispronunciations.

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HN: How did you go about choosing the name Babaganoüj for the band?
Charles: [laughs] It’s funny because I had a theory for a while that all band names are really stupid, even the cool band names are kinda dumb because it’s just an abstract label for something. So anyway, there is this band that we like and they are called Smudge and they have a song called Babaganoüj and I think it goes for 6 or 7 seconds and I thought that was appropriate. So that’s why we’re called Babaganoüj and that’s it.

Nice! You must have come across some funny pronunciations?
Mmm, maybe people kind of think they are right and then they kind of test you and then I just say it and they are like “Oh yeah, Babaganoüj, cool, yep”. I feel like people do know what it is and even then the start of the word is kinda obvious enough, so when they get that going, they don’t really need to pronounce the rest of the it, they are just like babagan…  – I don’t know. that’s my theory anyway.

How would you describe your music in feelings or actions?
I’ve been trying to define what we are really aiming for recently, and I have had trouble but I feel like its getting a bit more… [hesitates] I feel like the music is trying to express like all the most intense emotions you can feel in terms of, probably, romance. That’s one of our main inspirations in terms of song writing and feeling. So I suppose our live show is kind of like the most physical expression of that or something.

What’s your favourite thing about Brisbane?
Well having just been in Melbourne, it is probably the weather, at least at the moment. One of the things I love most about Brisbane is that I really like our old houses that we have here. I grew up in a tiny, well not tiny but a small, Queenslander house. They are just so specific to the area, I just haven’t been to a place that has the same architecture because nowhere else does. I feel that it’s kinda great that we have our own physical identity, you know, like architectural. It’s kinda cool that we have that.

The Brisbane music scene seems to be going off lately, which bands are you expecting big things from/ who should we be looking out for?
At the moment, our friend’s band, the Goon Sax, are becoming a thing, and they are really young. They make this really good quality, like, jangly music. Its kinda like The Go Betweens, which makes sense because the main singer Louis is the son of Robert Forster from The Go Betweens. So yeah Goon Sax are great. Also there is this band called Love Signs who are from here as well and they make a super, like, they are kind of like a tweed pop band but they sound very clear and crisp as apposed to sort of dirty and schuzzy like some bands in the same style which is refreshing to have that.

The Bigsound lineup is certainly impressive this year, are you personally looking forward to seeing any particular act?
Not in particular. I’ve been to a few Bigsounds over the years and I usually just try to go where my night takes me. I feel like if I plan too much I don’t have as much fun. So I’m just going to see what happens. I mean, a lot of our friends’ bands are playing and also a lot of bands that are developing from outer-state  I am looking forward seeing too.

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And are you excited to play Bigsound?
I am very excited, yeah really excited. I don’t know, Bigsound, we’ve been trying to get on the Bigsound line up for a while now so it’s exciting to finally get our chance. So I don’t know, you can’t set your expectations too high but I am looking forward to having a good show and I am looking forward to seeing what they call the “Bigsound experience” I suppose.

Tell us a bit about your gear, what type of guitar do you currently play?
Ooh, I could go on all day. No, but I have actually been selling a bunch of stuff, but I have got a Gibson SG which is my main guitar and that has been my personal guitar signifier for a really long time. Ruby, the guitarist, she recently, like 6 months ago, bought her own proper guitar. It’s a vintage Fender Coronado, which is a hollow-body and it is pretty beautiful. It’s a pretty great guitar. I don’t know, we are like occasional gear nerds but kind of ashamed of it a lot of the time. I’ve got a really big panel board but it is all a bit unnecessary, I could probably get away with a few things rather than a big one, but its all a bit of fun y’know.

Are there any musical instruments you wish you could learn?
Mmm yes, I want to buy more keyboards and synthesisers but I don’t know. We are all really like practical people, and I don’t think we could even be bothered to spend the extra time and money on carrying around keyboards and stuff. So I really want to buy nice stuff but I don’t know. I have been doing my tax recently though so I might buy some. Maybe expect ludicrous amounts of synthesiser on our next album or something [laughs].

What is the most memorable gig that you’ve ever played?
I feel like our most memorable one was because it wasn’t anywhere we had ever played and probably may never play again. We did a gig in this rural town called Roma, which is right in the middle of QLD. I was like 6 ½ hours drive west which is a pretty long way. We just played and I was personally terrified because while I had been to the country a few times before, it often has a reputation of being scary and hostile and there was going to be like crazy drunks or something. But it was actually totally great and heaps of fun and the people were really nice. So we played at this Irish pub and we just had a few beers and played a gig and then we decided that we needed to play more things, so we just got up and played Oasis and stuff, and some unbearable cover but they just lost their shit – it was great.

How is the dynamic in the band, is anyone in particular the serious one or childish one of the group?
I don’t know, I am probably the most annoying one. Jack, our drummer, is the sort of ‘she’ll be right’ kind of guy, like every thing will work out in the end. Ruby is the, sort of, positive reinforcer. Harriette and I share the grumpy card as well. I think we are all pretty good together most of the time because we give each other space and things.

Are you a dog or cat person?
I have thought about this so much, like this is such a loaded question oh my god. I grew up as a cat person because we always had a cat. And then we got a dog when I was eleven or twelve, after our cat had died which was quite sad but I don’t know, I always thought I was a bit of a cat person because I liked sleeping and stuff, what cats do,  but I feel like if I was an animal I would be a dog. I feel like I’m a dog.

Which breed?
I couldn’t say what breed; I think I’d probably be a bit of a bitzer. We had a cocker spaniel and I feel like I might of related to cocker spaniels because I felt a bit dopey and I feel like as I grow up I’m becoming less dopey, transforming. I don’t know, there is so many different types of humans and different types of dogs. Obviously I have thought about this way too much [laughs].

Honestly, me too. So what has the band got planned for the rest of 2015?
Okay so we are playing Bigsound obviously, and we are doing a few one off shows. We are playing with Bad Dreems in Brisbane – they are friends of ours. We are aiming for an album release at the end of the year, so November / December maybe. That is rumoured but we haven’t actually said anything yet but around then. Mmm album.

Sounds exciting, thanks for the chat!
Excellent, hey no problem. Thanks so much.

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Catch Babaganouj live at Bigsound at the Elephant Hotel (9th September, 2015) Find tickets here.

@brianahope_k

SOMEBODY’S TALKING WITH: JACK MOFFITT FROM THE PREATURES!

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THIS POST IS AN ARCHIVE

Five piece popular indie rock band, The Preatures, from Sydney are currently riding the success of their latest record ‘Blue Planet Eyes’. Widely known for their single ‘Is This How You Feel’, the band have been known to be unstoppable playing festivals all around the world, including Coachella and Splendour in the Grass. We had a chat with the extremely talented Jack Moffitt [guitarist] to talk about their current ‘Cruel’ tour, their musical process and crazy fans.

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HN: You’re currently in the middle of the ‘Cruel’ tour, how has this tour been different from other tours?

JM: Well it’s probably the last one that we are going to do for Blue Planet Eyes. I guess it feels like we’re trying to cap it in the best way we can, go out with a flare.

How would you describe your music in terms of feelings and actions?

I would say at times it’s like a bunch of pale and awkward people at the beach, and then other times it’s like unashamedly dancing even though you know you’re terrible at it.

After the tour, what has the band got planned for the rest of 2015?

Well, we’re working on the next record so we will be spending a lot of time writing and we are hoping to be close to putting some ideas down throughout October and this tour is going to take us right into that time. So all through sort of October until early next year we will be working on the next record.

How are you hoping to develop your sound?

Yeah, it’s definitely about taking what we’ve got and making it bigger and making it better.

I was fortunate enough to catch you guys at Groovin’ the moo in Canberra, what are the major differences between playing festival sets and your own shows?

They are both really different. When you play a festival, it’s like the bigger, brash version of yourself. So you go out there and you just try to be as energetic and loud as you can I guess, for want of a better word, because you are there to have fun and everyone else is there to have fun too. If you dip too much in to the slow stream of things you could probably lose a bunch people. Its different to playing your own shows because I think people are expecting a different kind of space. I guess the difference would be that one has to be really up and the other one has a bit more room to be diverse.

Which do you prefer?

I don’t really think I have a preference; they are both really different kinds of performing. It’s the same kind of focus and they are definitely challenging and rewarding in their own ways but I don’t know, I think the vibe of a festival is really good when you are feeling it, that it could be dangerous or really on the edge, that might make it a little bit more exciting… but not by much, they are both really close.

After the well-deserved hype around the single ‘Is This How You Feel?’ were you feeling any pressure about dropping ‘Blue Planet Eyes’?

Yeah I think it was always going to be the case that when we put out our record people were going to sort of have expectations about what the rest of the record was going to be about. And for us, ‘Is This How You Feel?’ was a real blueprint for what we were really good at as a band at that time, and we’re still good at now. So yeah, there was pressure. I think maybe there was just the pressure that we felt from having only 3 weeks to record it and then another 3 weeks to finish it off and I think if we had our time again I probably would have taken a couple more weeks to just work on it but y’know, it’s out… it’s out and we are moving on to the next thing.

Tell us a bit about the recording process?

A lot of the time, when you are a band and you are making records not everyone is around at the same time. There’s lots of big sections at the front of making the record when everyone is in the room together playing and that’s when everyone is in that sort of mob mentality and you are all there until 2am and you’re trying to make the takes feel really good. And then gradually as the process goes on, it’s usually me and Tom and Izzi sitting around throwing a lot of ideas at stuff and really pushing each other and pushing the record. And that’s where I feel a lot of the record got made seeing as that’s the way we work, its usually either Izzi and I or Izzi and Tom and I or even just Tom and I sometimes in the studio really working on something, some of the most fond memories about making the record was when it was just the three of us.

Any crazy fan stories?

I remember when we were in Europe, I think we were in Sweden and there was a person waiting outside this venue that we were going to play at in Stockholm and they had all these photographs of Izzi and a couple of us that they had had printed. Gideon asked him what his name was and wrote his name on the photos because we were really keyed in to the fact that he was probably going to hold on to them to sell them on eBay and we figured if we wrote his name on them maybe they wouldn’t be worth as much [laughs]. He got really upset about it, so upset, and we had to get hurried inside by our tour manager who was getting really agitated because hopefully this guy wasn’t going to blow his top and get angry – more angry than he already was.

Are there any musical instruments, apart from guitar, that you wish you could learn?

Oh man, I wish I could sing better. I don’t know, I think I’ve always fancied playing the piano better than I do but I don’t know. I’ll sit down at anything; I’ve played lots of instruments on our record. I just have a go and sometimes its not so much about what you can do, it’s about what you’ve got. If you have a good part, you might just be the right person to play it. And then other times it’s obvious that you should just stop and let someone else do it.

If you weren’t playing music, where else could you see yourself?

I don’t. I have no idea what I’d be doing if I wasn’t doing this. But I’ve always known that I wanted to end up playing music so I’ve never really thought about it.

The important question is: Do you consider yourself a dog or cat person?

That’s really tough… my family grew up with both and it was never a problem for me. I used to really like having cats and I loved having dogs. But now that I have moved out of home, I’ve lived out of home for ages, I haven’t had a pet in a really long time and sometimes I like the idea of owning a cat and just sort of knowing that it would be self contained and if it came back to be fed then it was a bonus. And then other times I think it would be very nice to have a little dog. So I don’t know, maybe I’m still my inner child and I’m happy to have both.

What has been your favourite album of 2015 so far?

Mmmm favourite album, far out…

Or a few if you can’t choose…

Yeah, it’s so tough for me to choose. I loved the Bad Dreems album, I think that’s a really great album. And I love the Alabama Shakes record because it sounds so beautiful. I get jealous when I listen to other people records but that one was like amazing; I’m so inspired by it.

Do you collect anything?

I take photos and I really love photography. I’ve been taking lots of photos on tour. Me and Tom have lots of different cameras that we take on tour. I’ve got a whole bunch, I think 6 or 7 now. And books. I buy books like they are going out of style and I think they are.

Are you looking forward to the rest of the tour?

Oh yeah, it’s going to be amazing. We are heading up to Cairns and Townsville this weekend which is going to be so much fun and I was actually born up there so it will be cool to go back. And then the rest of the tour is looking, we’ve got a whole bunch of sold out shows which is always the best feeling because its kind of like when you get there its going to be a party. So I guess that’s probably something to look forward to. But we’ve had a great couple of shows, in Canberra we had an awesome show at the ANUbar and when we were in WA, some great shows in Perth. Yeah, we are having an awesome tour, I don’t know how else to say it [laughs]. If we could get more regional shows we would but there is so much stuff going on and trying to get into this next record and we didn’t know how much longer we could flog touring Blue Planet Eyes before people start saying whens the next ‘Is This How You Feel?’ coming out. We’ll see what happens.

Thanks so much for the chat!

Yeah, no worries. Thanks very much.

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The Preatures are currently on their ‘Cruel’ tour, you can find all the information here.

@brianahope_k

Appreciation Post: AMANDLA STENBERG

THIS POST IS AN ARCHIVE

In recent months, Amandla Stenberg has taken the world and the Internet by storm. She is seemingly one the most unproblematic people that you will ever come across and she has been acclaimed as being so put together and conscious.  Her lessons on cultural appropriation and the media in relation to race are extraordinarily valuable and she is utilising her visible position in the media to open this dialogue between races. Stenberg has taken to twitter and various other social media to voice her opinions. If that weren’t enough, her role as Rue in the Hunger Games, directing a short film and the release of an EP with her best friend Zander Hawley proves she is not only beautiful, proud and embracing of her black heritage but also talented beyond measure. What an ANGEL.

Stenberg started to gain serious media attention after the release of her video “Don’t Cash Crop On My Cornrows”  which she created with a classmate for history class. The video- a crash course on black culture- is about the appropriation of black culture such as cornrows and hip-hop, which have been used by white celebrities as an “urban fashion” without fully realising the cultural significance of these “trends” and identities. In the video, she names several white celebrities such as Riff Raff, James Franco, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Iggy Azalea. The problem, Stenberg points out, is how the culture is being taken and yet none of the struggle and institutional racism that comes along with that culture is being acknowledged or even discussed by the appropriators.

While the media is quick to use words such as “attack” and “slamming”   in relation to the recent Instagram exchange between Stenberg and Kylie Jenner about the 17 year old sporting cornrows as though it was inappropriate of Stenberg to call out the exact theft of black culture that she discussed in her video. She has responded to the medias attempt to pin her against other celebrities and trivialise her words in a series of tweets which really speak for themselves:

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Stenberg is confident and not afraid to speak up about injustices of race in the media and the world. She has created an icon out of herself and she continues to slay as a human being who has a lot to say.

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So I wake up this morning and am partaking in my usual browse of the Internet when I see a tweet from Stenberg about the EP which she has just released with Zander Hawley under the name Honeywater (if that is not the most aesthetically pleasing band name you’ve ever heard then I don’t know what is) and I think to myself; what can’t this girl do?????? She is such an inspiration to me and her positive energy is so captivating.

“Honeywater has given me the opportunity to grow as a violinist and vocalist, to push myself and be adventurous,” she said via a tweet “I hope you enjoy”. The self-titled EP has very folk music vibes and is a beautiful melting pot of sweet vocals, guitar and violin. You can check it out and buy the four tracks on iTunes.

Do yourself a favour and scroll through her twitter when you get the chance because she is genuinely funny and has a lot of great things to say. I know it took me a while to write this because I got side-tracked by links and even managed to find this short film directed by Stenburg. I’m going to leave you now with this tweet:

and to Amandla… YAS QUEEN

@brianahope_k

Review: CHESHIRE GRIMM (EP) – CHESHIRE GRIMM

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THIS POST IS AN ARCHIVE

Release: 13 February, 2015
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The NZ trio Cheshire Grimm have released their first EP with an impressive collection of “grunge meets groovy beats” tracks that will no doubt get you jumping about. The strong vocals and heavy guitar riffs make for a ‘I don’t give a frick’/punk rock vibe which is quite satisfying as a listener.

The opening track ‘Poppy’ has that underlying deep bass line with a melodic pop element and the catchy “do do do’s” combined with the rich chorus gives the song its quirky, yet hardcore vibe. ‘Poppy’ along with the track ‘Rot’ were both released as singles prior to the EP. What is described as their “sophisticated musical backdrop” thanks to Dan Yarranton, infuses with the vocals of Kat Waswo and Lora Thompson, creating lots of energy and a well-rounded EP.

The tracks ‘Build a Bridge’ and ‘Misery’ are the solid innards of the EP and are bothgreat tracks in their own respect. Its the type of music I could envision blasting as you drive down the high way. The stand out track for me is ‘K.I.S.S’ which is the final track of the EP. It begins with an intense wall of deep sound which is subtly rhythmic which develops into a groovy beat; it’s the ultimate bad ass tune.

Cheshire Grimm are certainly an up and coming band to look out for. They have announced tour dates in New Zealand which you can check out here and make sure to take a look at the absolutely rocking music video for ‘Rot’ here.

@brianahope_k

Review: TV (VIDEO) – EVES THE BEHAVIOUR


THIS POST IS AN ARCHIVE

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Release: 2 February, 2015

Eves The Behaviour already has everyone hooked on her dark tunes, having released just two singles, we are all holding out for more. The 20 years old’s single ‘TV’ is delicate and chilling, sounding like there has been influence form the works of artists such as Sky Ferreira and Banks. The video directed by Josh Logue is dark, sensual and quite appropriate for the vibe of the song.

The video is quite simple but powerful in execution. It features Hannah Karydas (Eves The Behaviour) dancing around a dark room, which looks as if it belonged to a nursing home or a similarly sad, cold place. There are several other characters in the room including a sick, old man in bed. The video periodically cuts to a shot of Eves bathing in a mesmerising dark liquid.

The line in the video’s description sums up the overall experience, “I’m a big advocate for twistedness, for the negative emotions I used to be inclined to push away. Boredom, frustration, obsession, hunger, melancholy. So I decided I don’t want to be euphoric all the time (then I’d forget the Feeling).”

I enjoyed the video a lot and I think that it works really well with the song, each element reinforcing each other (and between you and me, I’ve had this song on repeat for a while now). We are all very keen to see what wil come next from the young Australian artist!

@brianahope_k

AN INTERVIEW WITH: THE BASICS

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Melbourne band The Basics have been busy doing the stuff they love: making music and influencing progressive change. I had the pleasure of speaking to the band’s bass player and vocalist Kris Schroeder about politics, music and the rock’n’roll lifestyle.

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HN: Over the last few months you have been busy with The Basics’ Rock’n’Roll Party and the Victorian State election, What recently sparked your desire to get more involved in your local politics?
K: We have always sort of involved our personal lives being socially active in indigenous affairs and education and things that border on politics. Particularly myself, having spend the last three years in Kenya with the Red Cross and seeing the contrast between how they live there and how we live there, I’ve been wanting to affect some positive change in our own country and to engage with people who have sort of lost faith in the system, and justifiably so. Particularly young people are disenfranchised and disillusioned with the options out there [in terms of political parties] and like they say, you’ve got to be the change. While the right wings have all their groups representing them (the Nationals, Family First Party), we have only really got the Greens and, to some extent, the Sex Party. If we really want to see some positive change we have to create a community that is vibrant and to come at it from different angles. We were just trying to inspire and invigorate people to think about these things.

HN: What changes would you have liked to have seen if you had gained a seat?
K: Well, since we only got registered in the last second – it was 6pm on the last day that we got the email – we only had 3 weeks to campaign and have an effect. We thought the best way to go about doing that was to team up with a like-minded party, the Sex Party, and they have actually been elected. It looks like our vote preferences were really crucial in getting them in the count so they could win that seat. In a way, we did succeed in gaining a seat for a progressive party, even if it isn’t us. While i don’t agree with everything they are about, what is most important is that it opens up dialogue in the parliamentary system about things that wouldn’t normally be brought up by the Liberals, Labour or even the Greens. They aren’t really interested in talking about drug law reform and stuff like that. I think just having these discussions is really important and opening up the conversation.

HN: How important is rock’n’roll to you?
K: [Laughs] Well, I mean it’s everything to me really. To us, when we called ourselves ‘The Basics’ Rock’n’Roll Party’, it was necessarily a musical thing. It was more a Hunter S. Thompson kinda way of living your life. You know, being a bit rock’n’roll and a bit balls-out with it. It is as important as an art as it is a lifestyle.

HN: How would you describe your music to someone with a hearing impairment?
K: Would they be able to hear me describing it to them? [laughs] I guess if they had a sense of music, what music is about, then I would like to think that our music is challenging, engaging and uplifting.

HN: You will be touring in December, are you looking forward to a particular show?
K: Ah, we are looking forward to them all. Most of the venues I don’t think we have played before so it’s going to be a great experience getting out. Especially the Newtown Social Club, since its the same owners of the Northcote Social Club here in Melbourne, which is actually my local pub and we have played there dozens of times so I’m looking forward to playing there and seeing what that is all about. But yeah, looking forward to the whole lot.

HN: After releasing your new single ‘The Lucky Country’ have you received the desired reception?
K: It’s one of those things where we sort of put it out there, not really sure how people would respond. We have been playing it live since late last year and in that setting, more than any other song that we have ever played, people were coming up to us and saying “what is that song? It is amazing, so spot on about what is going on” and then we thought maybe we should do something with it. It is really whether media people have been willing to take the risk and play the track. We have got double J willing to do so but a lot of other media is very conservative about not wanting to upset its audience, while the public have actually been lapping it up. The only challenge is getting it past music directors and those sort of gate keepers to get it to the audience that it deserves.

HN: Are you a dog or a cat person?
K: I definitely grew up as a cat person but I have been getting more into dogs recently. They both have their redeeming traits. Cats are probably more self-sufficient but I live in a 1 bedroom apartment so I can’t really have any pets. It’s just me here sitting here twiddling my thumbs with my pet rock.

HN: Musical influences you’ve had in your life?
K: A lot of Aussie rock. I think people have drawn comparisons between ‘The Lucky Country’ and Midnight Oil which wasn’t the intention when writing it but it was sort of shaped that way when playing it with the band. The Beatles, obviously. I think some of the stuff from Pink Floyd in the mid-70s, where they started to become more socially and politically involved – you know, songs like ‘Us and Them’ and ‘Time’ – all that sort of stuff was really influential as an angsty teenager and makes you think about a lot of things. But really just everything, I think as a song writer you can’t afford to choose what influences you; they just come from where ever they come I suppose. Even stuff that you might not have even realised.

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You can check out The Lucky Country here and their tour dates can be found on their Facebook page.

@brianahope_k

CHILDHOOD TALENT

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You’d be lying if you said you didn’t ever wish you had picked up a sport or activity when you were young so that you would be amazing at it several years down the track. I was in my gymnastics phase when I found myself in a beginners class, the oldest one by a good 3-4 years. It was after an embarrassing period of experimentation that 12 year old me decided I did not have the required skills to become a gymnast and stopped going. This happened to me with many things including sports, instruments, hobbies etc. which is why I feel I have basic skills in many areas while not having actually succeeded in excelling in any of them.

Another discouraging factor is seeing people who have been doing their chose of sport/hobby since they were young and are amazing at it… There is nothing I dislike more than a 10 year old making me feel like I have no talent but alas…  we mustn’t let that get us down! I am truly in awe of people who have kept at something since they were young and put many hours, hard work and sometimes $$$ into fostering their skills but we must remember that not everyone lives their lives this way. All it takes to truly SHINE at something is having genuine interest, always having fun while you’re doing it and dedication/time.

I still wish I had picked up things while I was a child but should my age or general lack of experience stop me? HELL NO. It is customary to hear adults sit around at talk about all the things they are too old to start things but one thing I have always thought (and I know I am going to be very cliché here) is that I don’t want to regret not trying anything! So while I can’t say i’m not really really good at any one particular thing, I can say I have tried a bit of everything. While on a professional level, it is more unlikely to progress the later in life you start, there is nothing wrong with learning new things for fun, fitness or even to just fill time.

So to everyone out there reading this… thinking about dabbling in a foreign language? wanting to pick up that instrument???? Wishing they could brush the dust off their old runners and start playing sport?? GO FORTH MY FRIENDS AND SHINE!

@brianahope_k

AN INTERVIEW WITH: SCOTT SPARK

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Having been unearthed in 2010, Scott Spark has been busy doing the thing he loves: creating music. He has recently released his second album ‘Muscle Memory’ and we had the chance to talk to him about his music and touring as well as the current internet obsession with cats… interesting to say the least.

Who has been your greatest musical influence?
My greatest musical influence? Goodness. You know all kinds of people influence you along the way in such different ways, like some people that you listen to quite a bit don’t necessarily influence you. My mum kind of had a big influence on me in the sense that she would drag me to every goddamn musical there was in Queensland in the early 90s. I was really a child of the 90s so any music that was on stages, whether it was community theatre or main stage, my mum would have dragged me to. In some of those my mind was probably wandering and I wasn’t terribly engaged, but others I was right into it. I think when you’re a child and when you’re young, that just kind of soaks into you.

With my dad, he grew up adoring to a lot of Led Zeppelin and even though nothing I make sounds like Led Zeppelin by any stretch of the imagination, I still grew up listening to it quite a lot since it was an important band to him. In terms of music that has really resonated for me, Björk was something that stood out very strongly. Her record ‘Homogenic’ was the one that kind of hooked me in to begin with. Just the way that she spoke about composition and the way that she approached lyrics and ideas for songs really struck me. I remember going to sleep with ‘Homogenic’ on my dream box turned down very low so my parents didn’t know I was listening to music. But there are tones of artists that have influenced me.

I think the thing that influences me more than music is ideas. You can have a great conversation with a friend that has nothing to do with music and you go away with a great idea for a song. Walking though Hyde Park; even different art forms can influence me. All songs are little homes that you build, little worlds that you create which you need different materials to build them; tone, texture, rhythm, melody, and as a songwriter who is very lyrics driven, often there is a lot of content ideas and inspiration that come from what you want to say.

Your favourite song on your new album ‘Muscle Memory’?
Well that’s a little self indulgent of me isn’t it. Though it’s occasionally nice to be a little self indulgent. I’m a bit of a sucker for melodramatic tunes with a bit of class. I’m not talking melodramatic as in bloody Muse or anything, I’m talking a different kind of melodrama, but when I sit down to play something like ‘Going Out Tonight’ I still feel that song very strongly when I hear it. And also ‘Yellow Raincoat’. But then oh god, I’m not very good at giving single answers, sorry, but also ‘Gone For the Dogs’ is it’s own sort of own little being in the mix of all the songs and its the first one I wrote for the album.

An instrument that you didn’t take up but you always wish you had?Well I’ve always thought I looked ridiculous behind a guitar simply because I don’t have the right kind of…  swagger for the guitar, I don’t think. Maybe the drums. Actually yes, definitely the drums.

Which show on your upcoming tour are you looking forward to?
Oh god, but they are all so different! I am looking forward to all of them for such different reasons. I haven’t been to Melbourne in a little while so I am looking forward to that show. The Sydney show while be my first launch, I’m actually living in Sydney. And then Brisbane is my old home town. I don’t think I could say I am looking forward to one over the other. I will just have to see how this first show goes, I mean, I am really having a lot of fun with my new band and you know that’s really fun in the rehearsal room but its always different when you get up on stage in front of others.

How would you describe your music to someone with a hearing impairment?
I would say that it is kind of like being in your car and driving down the highway at twilight with the blue hour as your hatching an escape plan but also learning how to belong.

What is you craziest non-music related talent and/or passion?
Okay, so I don’t do it very often because I don’t have a great deal of need for it but I can actually make both of my eye balls wiggle as though I am being electrocuted when ever I like. It does make me look like I am being possessed by the devil. I wish I could show you.

What was the process like for your new music video for ‘Tag Along’ and were you heavily involved?
It was an exceptionally collaborated video. I was really about taking the talents of quite a few people behind the scenes. It was really a shared vision and there was a lot of thinking that went into to. It began with the idea that, you know when couple have been together for a really long time and they sometimes finish each others sentences and that whole thing where with a pet and the owner where the pet and the owner start to look like each other. So I was kind of thinking about that weird behaviour that happens in relationship where there is this mimicry almost; where they start mimicking each other. There are moments in the video clip when you think “what is going on here, is it a bit of an episode of stalking?” but you quickly realise that it’s not really stalking  but it is that relationship where there is that mimicking. The thing is, my character isn’t alive and Fez Faanana’s character is very much alive. It is really a story about a couple where someone has died. I kind of follow Fez around and I am dead.

Actors or Cats?
Actors maybe. Look, I am going to have a shocking revelation for you and you will probably think this is the end of me but I actually hate cats. I really don’t like cats at all, I am more of a dog guy really. I grew up with a couple of Great Danes when I was a child and I love dogs. My strategy with cats is really I just try to leave them alone but that seems to make them even more interested in me. They just seem to hunt me down and I don’t know what to do about that. I don’t want anything to do with cats and I don’t really understand the fact that the internet seems to be built on cats. I question whether or not I should be born in a different era where cats where not such a big thing. I mean, cats, apart from being exceptionally annoying, they do kill other wild life. I’m not saying dogs are perfect, but lets just remind ourselves that these are predatory animals and not only that but they really stink.

@brianahope_k

Explore: SOUTHERN NSW

THIS POST IS AN ARCHIVE

While it might not be the busy and bustling city, the south coast of New South Wales (roughly from just south of Sydney/Wollongong all the way down to Batemans Bay) is really quite beautiful. You sort of take it for granted when you live here, but everyone that I speak to visiting our lovely corner of Australia seems to remind me just how lucky I am! It is slowly growing to become a great tourist destination with plenty of sites to see and things to do. I would recommend visiting in the summer to fully maximise your time here.

One of my favourite things about living here is that there is a strong beach culture, a “country” vibe but then it is not too far away away from the city (Sydney), so really it is the best of all worlds.

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1. Pigeon house Mountain

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I haven’t personally done the climb but I’ve heard that the view is absolutely spectacular! There are easier climbs/bush treks but the view makes the effort of getting up the mountain worth it. The climb should take about 4 hours each way at a steady pace so you will need to spend all day there – and with tons of trees and nature doing cool things like rock formations and waterfalls, why wouldn’t you want to spend the entire day? There are several other climbs and trails around if you’re not up for an intense climb, but just getting out there and getting some exercise while exploring nature can be a very refreshing (and rewarding).

2. Kiama Blowhole

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Kiama Blowhole is exactly what it sounds like… okay maybe not. It is basically a hole in the rocks that began out small but the force of the ocean waves have slowly eroded the rocks to a point where the water is funnelled and burst out the top. Given the right weather conditions, you could be  there for hours just watching the water explode everywhere. There are usually multiple rainbows always which is always cool! Warning: be prepared to get a little wet.

3. Milton Theatre 

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Milton theatre is one of there best live music venues on the south coast and it is such a cute place with awesome vibes. It was originally a town hall, but was converted into a picture theatre/cinema for many years until was refurbished for live music. Seating only 200 people, it doesn’t matter where you sit, you will be able to see and hear everything that is going on. It was my first time there seeing Josh Pyke last friday and I couldn’t get over how cute the venue was. Being such a small place, there has been many great acts grace the stage (i.e Sarah Blasko).

4. Jervis bay

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Jervis bay is home to some of the whitest sand in australia, a variety of different beaches, the point perpendicular light house, dolphin cruise and me! It is a large body of water which encompasses probably 50+ beaches. Definitely a great place to explore in summer, I admit that even I haven’t been to every beach, but having a boat is the best way, in my opinion, to experience the bay!

There are always plenty of boats out in the bay as well as a heap of dolphins, and from May to November, there is usually a pod of blue whales splashing about! There are also several great camping spots situated all around the bay.
P.S: a lot of tourists have the habit of saying “Jar-vis” bay and sounding really fancy… each to their own but most of the locals say Jervis.

5. Various seaside markets

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Kiama seaside markets

The south coast is home to a million (maybe an overstatement) of adorable seaside markets. They are always a great place to buy local produce, flowers, handmade items such as soap and jewellery as well as sample food and support local designers and craftsman. During the weekends there are markets in various locations; and the best way to find locations and times is here.

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Given this fortnight’s “explore” theme, you don’t even need to travel or go on holidays to discover something new. Often some of the greatest places are just under your nose or out your front door. All it takes is the will to explore and you then have the potential to find something new and unexpected. So get out there my fellow humans beings and start exploring this wonderful earth of ours – every nook and cranny!

@brianahope_k