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You may remember that about this time last year I posted about an even called Unconvention. The set up will be pretty similar to last year’s event, featuring a discussion forum, networking event and musical showcase. However they key difference in the 2011 event will be the addition of a workshop! Complete details and full program can be viewed here and tickets can be bought here. I’ve said this a million times, but the event last year was a complete invaluable experience for me, and I’m certain this year’s will be as well. Hope to see some of you there!

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December 2010. Somewhere between Hue and Hanoi, I lose my iPod. I’m halfway through a month long trip in South East Asia with plenty of flights, bus rides, boats rides and elephant rides ahead of me. And I lose my iPod. I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m into music. In fact if you’ve been reading this for a while, I think it’s fairly obvious that music is pretty much my life. The idea of spending another two weeks without music was daunting. And little did I know that just a few days later, that spending two weeks without music mid-break up in a foreign country could be even worse.

This left me with a lot of time to think. A lot of bus rides, staring out the window thinking. A lot of time sitting at airports thinking. And one flight in particular, on my way home thinking about just how much my life would just the second I touched back down in Brisbane.

I was surprised that I coped quite well without music. I took in what was around me, and I guess I become more of a real traveler. One of the biggest things I started to think about was the role of music in my life. While I was in South East Asia, a lot of the bars I went to played older music. Music I used to devour until I became a ‘pretentious indie snob’. Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix. One of the most surreal moments of my life was sitting in a bar called the DMZ Bar, drinking B52 shots, literally sitting around the corner from B52 bomb craters and buildings still ridden with bullet holes – and CCR’s ‘Fortunate Son’ came on.

It was one of those travels where I questioned everything about my life – it was literally life changing. One thing that repeatedly came up was music blogging and music criticism. Before I left I doubted my role in the community. I decided to take a brief break and come back refreshed from my holiday, thinking I was just exhausted. While overseas I found it hard to find a reason to do any of this. It all seemed so trivial. There was no purpose. I don’t get paid, I’m not helping anyone. I left the thought, along with many others, back in the middle of the jungle. I had other worries on my mind anyway.

When I arrived back in Brisbane, I was surprised that I threw myself straight back into blogging (as well as the several other places I write for). I was reviewing heaps of CDs and going to heaps of live shows, I guess to fill the void of a broken relationship. And here I am now, suffering from over-saturation of music. I’ve lost my passion – hopefully just for the time being. So brings about a sabbatical from blogging. I’ll still be around, and will still occasional contribute to TOM and Life Music Media, so keep an eye out if you’d like. I’m once again hoping to come back rejuvenated and ready to love music again.

Hey, remember when I used to have red hair? Me along the Perfume River in gorgeous Hue

 

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So on Saturday I had the opportunity to go to Ric’s Big Backyard Festival, reviewing for Press Record Online (you can read the full proper review here). I admit I approached the festival with a lot of cynicism – from the outside I couldn’t possibly see how a festival would work at Ric’s. I couldn’t see how any of the sets could run on time, or how they could fit enough people in to justify a ‘festival’. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that the festival was a success. I’m fairly certain it wasn’t sold out, and of course there is room for improvement. But I was quite surprised at how well the day actually went ahead.

No, it wasn’t the best venue for a festival. As expected downstairs was a tight squeeze (as it always is). Upstairs had a bit more room to breathe, but was painfully loud (note to self: invest in ear plugs). The outside area was a pleasant surprise though, taking up literally the “backyard” area behind Ric’s and RG’s. The area was never really “packed out”, especially during first few bands of the day, but was spacious and had a nice little food and bar area set up.

No, the line up wasn’t the best either (especially for the $75 that was asked for a ticket). It certainly wasn’t value for money for most people, but that being said none fo the acts on the bill were bad either. I was stoked to finally get around to seeing Velociraptor and Violent Soho – two bands I’ve been meaning to see for quite some time. Die! Die! Die! were probably the highlight of my day and of course You Am I were classic.

I really would like to see them try this festival again next year. Financially, I don’t know how much of a success it was, however for a smaller, low key festival it definitely has potential to continue.

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Remember back when Skinny’s was open? And remember back when Skinny’s did instores every weekend? And how sad we all were (okay, maybe just me) when it all came to an end? Well Tym Guitars will be doing instores now! Shit yeah.

The first one will be be held Sunday 27/02 at 2.00pm with Nova Scotia. And in classic instore fashion, it is all ages and free.

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Brisbane Floods

Hi everyone, as I’m sure you’re well aware there has been flooding happening around Brisbane and most of Queensland for that matter. Last I heard, 75% of the state was declared a natural disaster zone. Apparently this is now ‘bigger than the state of Texas’.

Tuesday morning we all got a severe thunderstorm warning and rumours about flooding started to circulate. Over my lunch break, I watched the river rise along South Bank from the safety of my high rise in the city, slowly starting to engulf the lower river-walk footpath outside the art gallery.  By 1pm my building was evacuated.

I managed to get back to my house to find my front yard almost completely under water and decided to move all of my valuables to higher ground. I jumped ship to my parents house, wishing my house best of luck. When I left my area around 2.30, this is what the park around the corner from me looked like (photos courtesy of my good friend Pete).

I feel very lucky to say that the water barely touched my house. My yard soaked most of it up, and it was only my laundry that got a little damp. No damage whatsoever. My parents house is fine too. My heart goes out to all of my friends who had to evacuate their house, who got flood damage, and especially the ones I haven’t been able to make contact with. I really hope you just forgot to charge your phone before the power went out.

I hope you’re all safe, and dry. If you need any help cleaning, if you need a place to stay, or if you need a warm meal or the use of my electricity, please feel free to contact me. If you’re looking for ways to help, I’m under the impression that there has been an overwhelming response of volunteers. What they need now is donations, either money , food or clothes.

Stay safe over the coming days Brisbane.

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Well, it’s January. And that means that voting is well and truly underway in Triple J’s Hottest 100. In fact, there’s only one more week left to vote so if you plan on doing so, you better start thinking about which songs you’re going to vote for! Some years the voting process is really easy for me, other years it is pretty tough. I’m always torn between voting for the songs that I love, and voting for the songs that I think will do well (in order to keep the songs I don’t like from getting in the top ten!). Basically I put too much thought into something that ultimately doesn’t really matter. To me the Hottest 100 is kind of like an awards show – I know I’ll be disappointed with the results, but I still tune in because I enjoy the suspense.

Alright, so my ten picks for the ‘hottest 100’ of 2010, in no particular order (well, actually, alphabetical)…

1. Ball Park Music – iFly

2. Best Coast – Boyfriend

3. The Boat People – Damn Defensive

4. Cloud Control – There’s Nothing In The Water We Can’t Fight

5. Hungry Kids Of Hungary – Wristwatch

6. Inland Sea – All Fall Down

No video!!!! Check out their Myspace to hear the track.

7. Jonsi – Go Do

8. Kimbra – Settle Down

9. The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio

(it was hard to pick just one song from these guys…)

10. Yeasayer – Ambling Alp

 

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Happy First Birthday

Well it is has officially been one year since I started this blog, and I have to say it’s been a very interesting year for me! I’ve made a lot of good contacts and a lot of good friends through starting Music for the Laundromat. I’ve been given many interesting opportunities to review fantastic albums, go to great shows and speak to interesting people. The blog progressed from covering very broad topics to zeroing in on the Brisbane music scene. No, I’m still not happy with it but I have big plans for this year (more specifically to get my ‘tagging’ system a little more organised…whoops!). I have resolutions to go to more shows and do more phone interviews. I plan on working harder on my reviews and to re-read what I write before I post (because making sense is kind of essential). I would also love to get some more opinion based posts happening again.

It’s interesting to see how my taste has evolved in the past year, especially looking back at my Top 10 Albums of 2009! Where is the local love? No matter. It’s 2011 now and I have big plans, and I hope you will all still be here with me to see how it goes!

Also, if you haven’t already heard, I finally got a proper Twitter for my blog! Come follow.

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