While I can’t speak for the entire suburb of course, I have observed that Brunswick is a little emotional right now. It’s the middle of winter and there’s a trial going on. I was at the coffee shop early this morning, with two of the baristas and a fellow customer. We barely know each other, other than to say hello, and we wept a little when the topic came up. We didn’t know Jill, other than to share her postcode, but we love our suburb and our hearts go out to the family at this time.
“Somebody asked me what I what I would define my dress style as and I defined it as… optimistic.”
(image source – you can watch the whole episode here if you’re located in Australia.)
Tim Rogers was on ‘Adam Hills Tonight’ last week. Now you know me, I love Tim Rogers, and while I’ve heard him give little monologues at shows, I’ve never really heard him speak at length. Adam Hills appeared to bring the best out in him on Wednesday night, and I just wanted to share it. I tried to edit it down to my favourite pieces, but I wanted to keep so much in, so I ended up just leaving it as is. Enjoy!
Tim Rogers: “I think I’m growing into my face and so that’s why this year being is full. I’m finally, at age forty-three, growing into myself.”
Adam Hills: “It’s a weird thing, isn’t it, to be at that age and to suddenly go, hang on, I’m kind of working it out.”
Tim: “Yeah, and I guess, doing these You Am I albums like you mentioned, we don’t want to be nostalgic about it. It wasn’t a particularly great time for any of us, but people do enjoy these records. I love to see people happy, so it’s a pleasure to do them, but you can’t help back look back and think, I wonder what I was like when I was twenty-six. I’ve seen clips of myself doing interviews from back then, and I mumble a lot and I’m a bit of a malcontent. I’m happy to be anywhere and that’s why I wear flared velvet trousers.”
Hannah Gadsby: “That’s corduroy.”
Tim: “I’ll take you swimming!”
Adam: “So you say it wasn’t a particularly good time for you when you were making those albums, why is that?”
Tim: “We just hadn’t stopped doing it. And it was fine, they were wonderful nights, wonderful, wonderful nights, and wonderful mornings as well. We fell asleep around about lunchtime. But we’ve sort of kept on doing that and we haven’t stopped doing it, so we haven’t looked back at it as the salad days, or the Helsinki days. It’s more just like an endless range of those nights, because that’s what we’ve done for twenty-three years.”
Adam: “Do you think the two had to go hand-in-hand? Did you have to have a ridiculous lifestyle like that in order to make those records?”
Tim: “I had ridiculousness from about fourteen to seventeen. Then I got it all really together and was very serious about everything from seventeen to about twenty-six, then the garbage lid got lifted off and out came the grouch, Oscar the Grouch. And so I think I timed it rather well. Obviously the St. Kilda police disagree.”
Dave O’Neil: “Who are you now? Are you Big Bird? Are you one of the old guys?”
Tim: “I’m Big Bird when it counts and with my relationships with my close friends, it’s just Ernie and Bert.”
Hannah: “Are you gay?”
Tim: (pauses) “No, I’m not.”
Hannah, “Oh, I thought that was just the Ernie and Bert reference.”
Tim: “No… There was an article in a Sydney newspaper, ‘there is a New South Wales musician about to come out,’ and it was either Daniel Johns, Phil Jamison or myself. And the reasons they went through to explain why it couldn’t be [any] of us were not satisfactory to me. ’No! He drinks bourbon and swings his arm around when he plays guitar in a rock ‘n’ roll band!’ I’m like, darling, that is no hindrance.”
Hannah: “How does a paper go one of them is about to come out? Did somebody put out a press release?
Tim: “No, darling.”
Hannah: “That’s not how I did it.”
Tim: “How did you do it?”
Hannah: “Someone told me. And then I’m like, oh! That explains a lot!”
Tim: “We appear to have deviated.”
Hannah: “Are you sure you’re not gay?”
Adam: “To answer your question, I just got the producer in my ear saying, ‘You need to get this back on track!’”
Hannah: “I’m so sorry!”
Adam: “Now I’ve always wanted to ask you about a story that I heard, that you basically did a promo tour that took you from Australia to four international cities in the space of like, a week or something.”
Tim: “It was four days. At the end of the tour that we’d done, in about 1998 I think, we did Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles I think, in four days. And four shows.”
Adam: “So what’s the secret to getting through four shows in four days in four international cities?”
Tim: “I think as anyone knows who’s been on tour, when the show each night is a chance to either redeem yourself or re-energise yourself, and you do tend to sweat out quite a bit of whatever’s keeping you going.”
Adam: “Do you have a crash afterwards when that adrenalin wears off?”
Tim: “Yeah, I like to celebrate successes and the crash… but you know, when the crash comes, that’s when you go walking, read a bit of symbolist poetry, get pretty dark, and that informs about eighty percent of my character.”
Adam: “Walking’s a big thing for you, isn’t it? You walk a lot.”
Tim: “Well, I think about eighty-five percent of what I do is to keep one step ahead of anxiety and depression, whether it’s dressing flouncy or playing music or walking. I don’t formally exercise much, apart from playing the odd bit of footy. But walking’s great for songwriting.”
Adam: “You know that that anxiety makes you who you are. Do you just end up learning to embrace it?”
Tim: “Anxiety keeps you thin.”
Hannah and Dave: “Nooo…”
Adam: “So what are you learning on this new tour, you’re playing two You Am I albums.”
Tim: “I’ll tell you what I’m learning about those two records, because I haven’t played them in a flippin’ long time.”
Dave: “You’re learning the songs again?”
Tim: “Yeah! I was a better guitarist then.”
Tim: “Yeah, I knew a lot more. My daughter, when I sent her a song, we were writing together, and she said, there’s a couple of changes I want to make, and I’m like, jeeze! Even my daughter’s on my rag now!”
Adam: “I don’t know if you heard my daughter say she never wants to see me nudie never ever again.”
Tim: “Yeah, I did. You’ve got a really nice body, I was watching last week-”
Hannah: “I know I shouldn’t take it off track again.” (pulls a face)
Adam: “So you’re new show is ‘Studio at The Memo’, which is like a chat, variety show.”
Tim: “There’s not a lot of chat because I do tend to prattle on, of course, don’t I? Let me tell you my Bernard Fanning story! I was in Dymocks in Sydney, and I was there buying something I no doubt had no full understanding of, and this guy stopped me and said, ‘Hey, heeey!’ I said, ‘Thanks for listening,’ and he said, ‘Bernard!’. And he refused to let me go until I’d signed something for him. He said, ‘Bernard, don’t be that way,’ and I said, ‘I’m not Bernard! He’s a dear friend of mine! I love the guy, but I’m not Bernard.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, you’re all like that.’”
Adam: “So you didn’t sign it eventually?”
Adam: “As you? Or as Bernard Fanning?”
Tim: “As Bernard Fanning!”
Adam: “So when does the tour start, what are the dates again?”
Tim: “July 16th.”
Adam: “Studio. At the Memo.”
Tim: “Yeah… I’m really appreciating this so much. Do you want to go out and get drunk after this?”
Adam: “More than you can possibly know.”
xoxo Nyssa on the 12th June, 2013 | no comments
filed under stuff | television
and tagged with | adam hills, adam hills tonight, tim rogers
I don’t normally travel with my laptop — despite the promise of mobility, I find computers heavy, clunky, and they don’t respond well to travelling on the back of a bicycle. After a semester of riding to uni with my laptop, it’s not running quite the same. However, it still works and it only needs to last another semester, so I figured some preventative casing would help.
It’s just a 2×2 rib, done in a chunky acrylic on circular needles. I sewed the bottom up and fashioned a flap for it. One of the buttons doesn’t line up, but I’m okay with that for now. It was a bit of an annoying project, because ribbing isn’t fun, but it was satisfying to destash some of this yarn and I like that the result is practical.
Someone wanted to help when I was photographing my new cozy.
He considers himself a supervisor of sorts.
I work in customer service, where interacting with an upset customer can turn a day into an absolute bummer. My workmates and I will rally around each other, and send each other animal gifs and YouTube clips to raise a smile. Actually, you know what, sometimes we do it anyway because who can resist a cat gif? We can’t.
My boss Kerryn showed workmate Fiona and I this cartoon on the eve of her birthday:
(I did some research so that I could cite this correctly, and it appears that this series of cartoons is actually an exercise in reblogging on Tumblr. Some of the Tumblrs mentioned in the graphic don’t exist anymore, but the final post, with the complete set of images, still appears to be available here. I compiled the images together from this Imgur post.)
So on Kerryn’s birthday, Fiona and I arranged this series of gifts for Kerryn. Tina had balloons, Mira had the cake, and Fiona even made the trip to Officeworks to print off a Ryan Gosling. I was in charge of the cat.
I didn’t really twig until later that the kitty in the cartoon didn’t have a white belly. The cat I had in my head was Fiona’s cat Weasley.
The pattern is from Best in Show: Knit Your Own Cat (thanks for the gift, Kathryn!), and although there is a ginger cat pattern, I opted to knit the standing kitten pattern. I used left over fuzzy acrylics I had in my stash, and the majority of this kitty was made up (I almost wrote “compiled” — too much coding for me!) while waiting for my aging computer to put together some of my uni assignments.
He was quite a quick make, but the putting him together was fiddly. However, I’ve knit a couple of cats now, and I think that this pattern is the most cat-like pattern I’ve come across, which made it very satisfying. Neil said that, “this looks exactly like the picture in the book! It even has the weird shaped head of the cat in the book!” On future cats, I might try and think of ways to round out the head a little more. (I’ve photographed him with some MySpace angles here to bring out his good side).
I should mention the gift was a success, there’s plenty of photos of Kerryn grinning manically from behind cake and balloons. There was also a photo of Ryan Gosling riding the cat, which I think is a compliment.
xoxo Nyssa on the 27th May, 2013 | 1 comment
filed under knitting
and tagged with | fo, knit your own cat
A semester is twelve weeks long at RMIT (and most other tertiary institutions I imagine). Over the last twelve weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of this:
That’s a snippet of an app I’m writing for an Android device in one of my classes. It’s a little bit like sewing — you have all these pieces, and you think to yourself, how on earth does that go together? Then slowly, you watch it take shape, you have little lightbulb moments where you think, “of course!” and before too long, it’s 3am and there’s a whole lot of stuff you’ll fix tomorrow, but it’s finally done.
Well, I’m almost done anyway. Then it’s back to pictures of garments, cats and rockstars!
xoxo Nyssa on the 21st May, 2013 | 1 comment
filed under housekeeping | uni
and tagged with | get back to studying you daft cow, no actual cats in post
I’m back at uni, hence the delay. I’ve been learning lots about developing applications for Android, “Software Architecture and Design” (which apparently used to have the much more tertiary-degree name of “Programming 3″) and discrete mathematics. You’ll just have to take my word for it that I do enjoy all of these things.
Still, there’s always time for a weekend in the country, namely a trip to Golden Plains. You may have noticed that I’ve been before. All the things I’ve said and all the things I’ve wanted to say about this festival can be summed up in the official festival “blessing”.
Welcome to Golden Plains, a multi-dimensional musical portal where invention, inspiration and imagination converge… with you at its centre.
Surrender to the music; it’s the sound of victory, a triumph of the will, a cavalcade of the senses… sight, sound, touch and smell…
Inhale deeply, it smells like home.
The Golden Plains Blessing, by Stephen ‘The Ghost’ Walker
It’s the “smells like home,” line that gets me every year.
While festival matriarch Aunty Meredith encourages punters to remember that the laws of both the human body and the civilised world still apply when in attendance, you can understand why people forget. It’s a world where you’re not required to wear shoes, you can have dessert first, there is music all day long and you don’t have to go to work tomorrow. Even I, the certifiable neurotic, the person who suits computer science so well because it is about processes and doing things in the correct order, manage to abandon most of my routine for a weekend of pretty dresses, street food and beer before midday. (Obviously, I’m still an oddball. That’s unavoidable). This reckless abandon is the reason why people return to work after the weekend with a crazy look in their eyes, proclaiming never to miss one of Aunty’s parties again.
As for the specifics, it was definitely hot, but due to clear skies, it was refreshingly cool at night. Cooler than what our flat would’ve been. Music wise, highlights included Money for Rope, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, surprise hit the Melbourne Ska Orchestra, and George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. My personal favourites were Sunday morning’s Dick Diver, and Chris Russel’s Chicken Walk. I’m not sure I could find a consensus about this, but I also enjoyed hearing a DJ at 8pm. I’m never awake for the DJ’s, and to a) actually hear one, Keb Darge and b) hear one play soul, rockabilly and 50/60′s was a real treat.
There was a little bit of talk on the lineup this year. Stu Farrell of Triple RRR interviewed Jack Nolan, who’s son Chris started the Meredith Music Festival back in the early 90′s (due to a brain injury, Chris can’t talk). That was like listening to a parent or grandparent’s stories, very sweet. ”I told the boys they couldn’t stop running the festival until they got Johnny Cash to play,” explained Jack. ”So we’ll be at this for awhile.”
xoxo Nyssa on the 20th March, 2013 | no comments
filed under music | out and about
and tagged with | golden plains, meredith
When the crew attend music festivals, we take along two hobby horses, Rocky and Adrian. Both horses used to talk if you squeezed their ears, but after much partying and time spent in Michael’s shed, they eventually lost their voices.
After Meredith, I wanted to help them out, so I fixed up their voiceboxes. Adrian (the first horse in the video) just needed some solder on the speaker that is her voicebox. Rocky’s voicebox required replacing altogether. I did plan on taking apart an existing toy, but couldn’t find any to sacrifice. I ended up at a certain factory where you might create your own stuffed companion and they sold me a “voicebox” on its own (of course, they called it something naff like “heartbeat”).
Check out the ponies in action! Adrian comes on first, then Rocky.
This post will be going live at about the same time we put the finishing touches on our tents at Golden Plains this weekend, where I’m sure everyone is very excited to hear what Rocky and Adrian have to say.
xoxo Nyssa on the 9th March, 2013 | no comments
filed under sewing | stuff
and tagged with | fo, golden plains, mending, meredith
It has been well documented that I gave Neil an excellent Christmas gift this year. He also gave me an excellent gift — a Zoos Victoria membership. We get free and unlimited entry to the three major zoos in Victoria (Melbourne, Healesville and Werribee), discounts on events and, most importantly, we’re pitching in to help wildlife conservation efforts.
Melbourne Zoo has been hosting Zoo Twilights, a series of concerts aiming to raise funds and bring awareness to saving some local critters that are critically endangered. I love the Zoo and I love music, but most of the fare on offer has been a little safe for my tastes.
Then I noticed Tim Rogers had been booked to play with The Bamboos. There is nothing safe about letting Tim Rogers perform in front of families with picnic rugs.
To his credit, he toned down most of the swear words and alluded to sex acts instead of describing them. His advice to the underage set was rugged but sweet.
“Keep doing what you’re doing, keep being you. One day, those bullies will be… mucking your crap. They will be fucking cleaning your shit! I’m sorry, it had to be said.”
- Tim Rogers
He was well suited to The Bamboos, one of Melbourne’s best soul bands. There is some soul music knocking about that is a little thin on the ground and while you can hear the 60′s in it, there seems to be a lot of trouble missing from it. The Bamboos are tight, they’re rehearsed, but they’re not afraid to let go and get into a groove. Rogers performs in a similar way, in that while it appears that a show may go to hell in a handbasket at any moment, with Rogers leading the charge, he is actually too much of a smart and intuitive performer to let that happen. He is something of a gifted troublemaker, a true rockstar, and worth any penny you spend to see him.
So all of this made for some exciting, searing, sexy soul music. Rogers and vocalist Kylie Auldist looked to be having so much fun together, the original songs were a clear and true collaboration, and the covers were a treat. There was a Rolling Stones song in there, plus the band knocked out some rich and raucous renditions of ‘Radio’ and ‘Heavy Heart’, two huge You Am I hits.
It was weird to be watching this and eating soft cheese with crackers. Neil said he felt almost uncomfortable, as in this is not where rock ‘n’ roll belonged and it was perhaps all a bit grown up. I think it would be cool to see a set like this at a music festival, or indeed, at a proper venue like The Evelyn. Somewhere just a little more dangerous. Nevertheless, wildlife conservation and rock ‘n’ roll (and soft cheese) all in one place? How could I be annoyed at that?
xoxo Nyssa on the 6th March, 2013 | no comments
filed under music | out and about
and tagged with | melbourne zoo, the bamboos, tim rogers, zoos victoria
Okay, so let’s just get it out there — the Christmas gift I gave Neil last year was one of the worst kept secrets ever. I told everyone we were going to New Zealand to see the beloved and reformed ‘Roses. Everyone. On Christmas morning, Neil was fielding texts from friends, asking how he liked his present. ”I don’t know how you didn’t tell me,” he remarked. ”You really did tell everyone else!”
With the pesky business of holiday deception behind us, it became a lot more fun to get excited about this trip and not be worried that Neil would be suspicious if Spotify told him I was listening to ‘Fools Gold’.
With a couple of extra days up our sleeve before the show, we packed in a high concentration of Fun Things to do in New Zealand. We roadtripped to Rotorua to investigate the geothermal springs, met Kiwi birds at a wildlife sanctuary, tried some local brews at the Croucher Brewery, and we even got to pat lion cubs!
Back in Auckland, we still wore a camera like a tourist, but it was a little less structured. More breweries, the most notable one being Mac’s, a visit to a Karen Walker boutique, and a Devonport daytrip, because nothing says holiday like catching a ferry. We also caught a second innings of cricket at Eden Park and discussed the differences between travelling for sport like The Barmy Army do, and travelling for music, which I have a bit of a reputation for. ”Travelling for cricket is like going on a package holiday to somewhere exotic,” explained Neil. ”You get to tour a country with a bunch of blokes just like you, people know you’re coming, and in the days off between the tests, you can go out and be a tourist.” I must admit, when travelling for music, there is definitely less time to stop and smell the roses and the street food, mainly because there isn’t usually a huge gap between shows.
Speaking of shows, we also saw The Stone Roses!
For those not familiar, like those attending Coachella this year, The Stone Roses are a four piece band from Manchester. Their back catalogue is a scant two albums and a handful of singles. They are often considered alongside other bands like the Happy Mondays and venues like The Hacienda as an integral part of the “Madchester” scene that occurred in the late 80′s and early 90′s. Indie rock met house music, among (many) other indiscretions*.
So it is not surprising, considering all of the history and cultural significance surrounding the band and the impact of their scene on “youth culture”, that their music would cause grown men to lose all composure. I’ve not seen anything like it. The Vector Arena was filled with around 10,000 emotional English ex-pats, mostly male, aged in their late thirties to forties, all hugging, grinning and defying the stoic reputation that usually precedes them. From the opening bars of ‘I Want to be Adored’, to the closing choruses of ‘I Am the Resurrection’, there was non-stop singing and moving and love.
This is what stadium shows look like to me. But I wanted to show you everyone with their hands in the air. For more on what the show actually looked like, you can check out this gallery at Under the Radar.
Unlike some other reunion tours that have been knocking around in the last couple of years, cough cough, The Pixies, all four members of the band appeared excited and happy to be there. Sure, there’s absolutely money involved in nostalgia, but you could tell that these guys were getting an absolute kick out of what the audience was letting them do, which was letting them be kids again. As described, the feeling was mutual.
After the show, Neil wanted to know where we would be going for Christmas next year. As if I’m meant to top a reunion tour from his favourite band. Sorry love, I think it’s back to re-issued vinyl records for gifts now…!
* I recommend the film 24 Hour Party People if you’re interested in the Madchester scene because you weren’t old enough the first time around like me and you don’t have a then-hip older brother like Neil does. Don’t worry about factual accuracy. I daresay no one who was there genuinely remembers exactly what happened anyway.
xoxo Nyssa on the 4th March, 2013 | no comments
filed under holiday | music
and tagged with | new zealand, the stone roses
Hello! I’m back from New Zealand! More on that later. Important business.
I thought about what kind of mixtape I wanted to make for this event. Last time, I suggested that I wanted to DJ your party (offer still stands, I dig northern soul, Melbourne indie, and hot Britpop frontmen). This time, I focused on another love — summer music festivals.
The summer festival season opens with Meredith at the start of December and rolls through until Easter, when Boogie wraps everything up. This year has been a corker and it’s not even over yet. Here’s my picks, in Side A and Side B form:
1. Primal Scream, ‘Movin’ On Up’ (Meredith 2012)
2. Vampire Weekend, ‘One (Blake’s Got a New Face)’ (Big Day Out 2013)
3. World’s End Press, ‘Faithful’ (Falls Festival 2012/13)
4. Hot Chip, ‘Over and Over’ (Falls Festival 2012/13)
5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, ‘Zero’ (Big Day Out 2013)
6. The Hives, ‘Hate to Say I Told You So’ (Falls Festival, 2012/13)
7. The Men, ‘Turn it Around’ (Laneway 2013)
1. Pond, ‘Betty Davis (Will Come Down from the Heavens and Save Us)’ (Meredith 2012 & Laneway 2013)
2. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, ‘Muckraker’ (Falls Festival 2012/13)
3. Velociraptor, ‘Sleep with the Fishes’ (Boogie 2013)
4. Royal Headache, ‘Girls’ (Meredith 2012)
5. Super Wild Horses, ‘Lock and Key’ (Boogie 2013)
6. The Stone Roses, ‘She Bangs the Drums’ (Future Music Festival 2013)
7. Best Coast, ‘The Only Place’ (Falls Festival, 2012/13)
8. Kitty Daisy & Lewis, ‘Honolulu Rock ‘n’ Rolla’ (Boogie 2013)
9. Boomgates, ‘Any Excuse’ (Meredith 2013)
10. Henry Wagons & The Unwelcome Company, ‘A Hangman’s Work is Never Done’ (Laneway 2013 & Boogie 2013)
You can also check out my Spotify playlist if you want to hear it all from start to finish. (There are a couple of songs missing, namely World’s End Press, Pond and Kitty, Daisy and Lewis).
xoxo Nyssa on the 2nd March, 2013 | 1 comment
filed under music
and tagged with | melbourne mixtape exchange, pretty city, the naysayers, young maverick
I was doing some regular Tuesday night type stuff the other day, like freaking out with Neil about having no more episodes of ‘Community’ to watch, when I noticed an elephant had taken up residence on our record collection.
Okay, that’s a lie, I knitted the elephant and then posed it on top of the records.
That’s a picture of the elephant watching TV.
The pattern is Flo The Elephant from Knitty, and if I’m completely honest with you, it was about as much fun to knit as dental surgery. It felt like it would never be finished. I think I started it a year or two ago, but in an attempt to finish up some old projects, I pulled it out and seamed it up.
I’ve decided to give it the daughter of some friends of mine. Mollie is the first baby of my group of friends, perhaps the only for awhile, so she is getting lots of cuddles and cute things from her “aunties” and “uncles” (her Mum and Dad’s crew). And while she won’t be a baby for long, the toy is baby proofed — there are no buttons or pieces that can fall off, all the details are embroidered instead. I was pretty faithful to the pattern, except for the tail, which is an I-cord and not a flat piece seamed up.
It’s always good to finish up a project, especially one that has been lingering so long and been annoying me so much. Fingers crossed the little one likes it!