The Beach Road Hotel in Bondi is a brilliant venue for a couple of reasons. It’s down the road from the beach for one. The majority of gigs that go down there are free, all the while consistently featuring some of Australia’s top artists. It’s also a curious venue that can fluctuate between high capacity, rowdy crowds and intimate displays of musicianship depending on the clientele on any given night. Coming off the back of BIGSOUND, Stillwater Giants and Coach Bombay stopped by Sydney this past Saturday for a night of the latter, truly earning the appreciation of the new fans they gained on the night.
Life as a solo artist could get quite lonely, I’d imagine. It’s a message you could easily take from the cover of this album if you just looked closely. After running in packs with the likes of Of Montreal and Regina Spektor, Kishi Bashi’s latest LP Lighght (pronounced “Light”) is spritely with philosophy and self discovery - or whatever. Fact is, after covertly taking the blog-o-sphere by storm with his critical masterpiece 151a back in 2012, Kishi has taken to a life of musical solitary and produced an album that makes you feel, think and... appreciate shit.
Satyagraha is the third opera of the Philip Glass Trilogy that the State Opera of South Australia has presented this week. Telling the story of Gandhi, it draws inspiration and fragments from the first two Operas. It has the repetitive melody of Einstein on the Beach but is more story based like Akhnaten.
Philip Glass’ Einstein on the Beach is an epic opera, usually taking five hours. It is normally performed at an outdoor event where people can move around during the performance, however, the State Opera of South Australia presented it in four one hour parts over the course of an evening with a meal break in the middle.
Poetic and grudge fuelled, Morrissey resumes his polarising solo career with studio album number 10, World Peace Is None Of Your Business. It’s a wrestle with relevance that aging icons face as every new release is met with a healthy dose of cynicism, but veterans don’t always show their age. Bowie nailed it with The Next Day, as did Tom Waits with Bad As Me but Morrissey misses the mark of true reinvention on this effort.
Trending; the modern day vernacular attributed to popular movements and topics of the time. Granted the life span of said trends are about as short lived as a goldfish’s memory, the male / female rock duo is a far less perishable trend that might just deserve the tag line given its significant boom in recent times (Blood Red Shoes, Cults, The Kills, Sleigh Bells et al.).
An intimate, brooding affair: Tim Freedman does Nilsson is a musical experience like no other. Delivering a frighteningly authentic depiction of what a real Nilsson show might have entailed, Freedman’s take on Nilsson’s greats combined with a carefully constructed monologue drenched in black humour is downright captivating.
Isabella Rossellini steps onto the stage in front of a full house at Her Majesty’s Theatre to rousing applause. She is carrying a basket with two bunches of flowers, one of beautiful blooms and one of weed-like plants and explains how the blooms act like foreplay to the insects, which fertilise the flowers, whereas the weeds are fertilised by pollen blowing in the wind. So begins her fascinating monologue on the sex lives of animals. The fact that flower blooms are a potent symbol of sexual reproduction yet can be found in churches, for example, amused her.
Thursday night saw the iconic Adelaide Town Hall filled with the eerie sounds of Jed Kurzel’s award-winning Snowtown score, and influential duo Stars of the Lid joined by Zephyr Quartet.
The anticipation in the air was palpable as the Elder Hall filled with people waiting to hear John Waters speak for the Adelaide Festival. The stage is minimalist - a green floral arrangement on a white stand with red lighting at the rear.
Sultry diva Bernadette Byrne and her manwoman sidekick, Victor Victoria, return to the Adelaide Fringe to present their newest collection of songs and stories that are equal parts filthy and fabulous. This talented duo have been taking international audiences by storm with their unique brand of comically perverse songs and playful performances, finding light heartedness in deviant subject matters that’ll leave tears of laughter streaming down the faces of everyone in the room.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is up there as one of Shakespeare’s most oft performed plays. \There have been countless as adaptations and reinterpretations over the years, but I’d imagine there are few as wonderfully strange and eclectic as Russian director Dmitry Krymov’s interpretation A Midsummer Night’s Dream (As You Like It). As clichéd as it sounds, this is Shakespeare as you have in all likelihood never seen it before.
Heroes and tyrants, Gods and Mortals, and ancient armies all clashed on stage on Sunday night. All of them brought to vivid life by one man, actor and co-writer Denis O’Hare, for the Australian premiere of the An Iliad. A captivating and engaging adaptation and reinterpretation of Homer’s Iliad by US collective Homer’s Coat, that forms part of the Perth International Arts Festival this year.
It's Valentine's Day and as I have done the last few years, I've spent it with one of my true loves, the Adelaide Fringe Festival. The rain has stayed away long enough tonight to allow all the opening night festivities to go ahead and while I've missed the parade through the CBD, I am kicking off season 2014 with a show. I'm down on Regent St at the Box Factory Community Centre to see the Preachrs Podcast present its second Fringe show, '50 Years of Doctor Who'.
Thank You For Being A Friend is like watching an extended episode of the TV series, Golden Girls, except that the four female leads are replaced with puppets. The show is a treat and is being performed at the Seymour Centre as a part of the 2014 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. It also contains all of those endearing hallmarks that made the original show so popular.