Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Two Doors Down

There's a middle ground - in the most literal sense - between two doors down and Parramatta (comparable to Walthamstow in London) that a venue/place of interest has to hit for me to be, well, actually interested. Too far and it's just a plain ol' pain. Particularly when you have no car, license, money or access to a mode of transport that isn't public, expensive and unreliable. Too close though, and it simply requires too little effort; why, it would be silly to apply my organisational skills to arranging a trip downstairs, right? Before meandering down to said park/warehouse/sexpot, I see no reason I shouldn't wash my hair, pet my cat, have another go of beating B-Boy in Tetris Blast on my very eighties Gameboy, play with the (stuffed) squirrel sitting on my bed, stare at the photo I had taken of me and an (wholly alive) owl for a good twenty minutes and listen to that new Adam Green album. Twice. But then suddenly it's Midnight and I haven't left the house. With the half-hearted promise that I'll go tomorrow or the next week or perhaps the Friday after instead, the cycle repeats itself and, before I know it, it's been two years and it's moved or gone or been overrun by zombies. This happens to me on a semi regular basis. Last month however, I decided enough was enough and I was going to get my arse over to the Chinese Garden of Friendship before an asteroid hits it or something similarly unlikely yet very probable happens. I wholly recommend you do the same. It's really kind of amazing.

Here's me looking happy (and a little smug - if I read my expression correctly) that I successfully tore myself away from my pet squirrel/owl/cat to visit the Chinese Gardens. To clarify: I *am* referring to my happy smile, not the regrettable bulge in my pants, which is due to my bulky camera. It's true, I swear.

Next on my list of places to go that are just too darn close for comfort? The karaoke bar across the street, suitably named Ding Dong Dang - a name which is also apparently (I would guess) an homage to The Wizard of Oz which can only be a good sign - and High Tea, an intimate, RSVP only live music night which takes place every second Thursday in nearby warehouse.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vintage & Retro Sale at Hibernian House: February Edition


Level 6, 342 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills
Nearest train station: Central
What to bring: Cash
Attire: Sexy and Second Hand
Facebook Event Page

You, angel darling, don't need a halo to look heavenly. All you need is a visit to our Vintage & Retro Sale this weekend; a retrotastic blazer/dress/pair of dazzling shoes later and you'll be a picture of perfection. Just what you need to snag the man/lady/lady-man of your dreams this Valentine's Day. Indeed, on the weekend of love, we’ll be here selling mountains of insanely cool hand picked vintage & retro clothes from Hibernian House's very own penthouse. Before you get too excited, I should mention that it is, as per usual, in Sydney and, unless you've invented a transportation device, probably won't be financially viable for you international folk. Though, once you got here, it would be bargains galore so, you know, it'd all probably even out in the end. Not much in store is over $20, with prices starting at a measly $1. Katrina and Dominque won't be selling quite as regularly after this weekend so they've slashed prices on almost all of their stock. If I didn't know better, I'd say that we *invented* the word bargain. Not only is it cheap, it's also good. Very good. We've spent the better part of the last month running around collecting amazing stock for our already bulging rails from Melbourne, Sydney and everywhere in between.

Make your way to
Level 6, 342 Elizabeth Street (click for map) for sick tunes, a comfy couch, change rooms, shoes (ranging from sizes 6 to 11), super stylish accessories, some bric-a-brac (including books, CDs and a collection of old records) and rails of amazing clothes from loads of cool cats including Katrina Noorbergen (Cassette Kids), stylist Grace Atkinson (NO magazine), Marissa Ziesing (fashion label FTW), Annabel Wurth and Emma Daniels ( It certainly won’t just be for the ladies though; we’ll have loads of mantastic pieces too, courtesy of Bobby Townsend (Drum Media), David Abram (Jingle Jangle) and Dominique Legrand (Awesometown).

Whether you're after something sexy and second hand for your loved one, or something sexy and second hand in which to woo a loved one, we're here to help. We're pretty ace at deciphering people's styles and helping to choose something they'll love. Check out the facebook event for directions and further details, invite your friends, bring your housemates and grab a massive bargain! Looking forward to seeing you there.

Saturday 13th February: 9am - 6pm
Sunday 14th February: 10am - 4pm

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Western Front

Bobby and I were lucky enough to score tickets (look at me, I sound like a hardcore music user) to St. Jerome's Laneway Festival, a wonderful event that took place last Sunday at the beautiful Sydney College of the Arts (SCA). Amongst an amazing collection of talented acts, including Daniel Johnston, Florence and the Machine and The XX, local quintet Bridezilla dazzled the indie crowd and reminded me just how good their new record is. I reviewed it a couple of months ago - it was in fact my first ever album review - for This Way In. Bobby, I should also mention, reviewed the whole of St. Jerome's which you can find on his website.

Photo taken by the wonderfully talented Daniel Boud of award winning website

If you're in Sydney, check out his exhibition at Mart Gallery in Surry Hills - the opening of which is tonight.

It takes some effort not to be jealous of Bridezilla. Not only are the quintet insanely talented, stylish, mature, musically educated, incredibly humble - even violinist Daisy Tulley, who’s notoriously crass - and more goddamn good looking than you or I will ever be, they’re all younger too. Whilst I’m getting pissed on other people’s booze, chain smoking and chatting up some guy (who I later realise is my boyfriend and not even worth my pick up lines), they’re likely to be found sitting in the darkest corner of the party having quiet, intelligent conversations. That is, if they’ve been coerced into going out at all. Their music is beguiling as they are, and the snowballing of their success comes as no surprise to anyone who’s seen them perform, which, let’s be frank, includes most of Sydney - even my Mother’s seen them - and, with the band having just returned home from playing the Flaming Lips-curated All Tomorrow Parties Festival, New York has now held witness to their explosive live show too.

Therefore, given this reputation, it comes as some surprise that, on first listen, Bridezilla’s aptly named debut long player, The First Dance, is almost unbearably restrained. It plays in dramatic contrast to their passionate live performances, which see regular outbreaks from Tulley and Millie Hall on saxophone. The album is an understated, tense and sombre affair. There’s a tautness that runs through the record, threatening to break out into an explosion of improvisation though, amazingly, it never does. This is perhaps most apparent in the almost entirely instrumental Soft Porn. It’s certainly a beautiful self-discipline, and the way Holiday Carmen-Sparks’ seductive croons complement the dizzyingly harmonious instrumentation is mesmerising. The most jarring sounds on the album – and they’re not really very jarring at all - come courtesy of Magnetic Arrest, with it’s pulsing beat, it was inspired by Carmen-Sparks’ trip to America. Queen of Hearts and Tailback meanwhile, are two examples that the band are more than able to write attractive pop numbers, without compromising their gothic sound.

It’s easy to dismiss Bridezilla as a band whose hype has come courtesy of the novelty of their youth, which is mentioned in almost every review and interview, but with The First Dance, they truly have created something far beyond their years. It’s an album that stands alone. Immerse yourself in The First Danceand any pre conceived notions you have become irrelevant. Released this month, their much anticipated debut long-player (they formed all the way back in 2005) is brooding and measured. Perhaps you won’t be dancing around the room to it, getting pissed and chatting up every person you fall upon, but it’s the perfect record to have a quiet conversation to in a dark corner of the room. In fact, who needs conversation? Whack it on your iPod and seclude yourself in Australia’s outback (somewhere like The Colo River, perhaps). It’s wonderful. Of course it is. What else would you expect from Sydney’s finest five piece?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Material Girl

I saw this over on Pedestrian a few days ago but, being the reliable and frequent blogger that I am*, forgot to post about it. The Cassette Society is Katie Boyd and Tania Rickards, two local ladies who are notorious for their superfluous use of the word 'bitchin'' and ability to, season after season, produce rocking, '80s inspired collections to lust after. The label's Autumn 2010 lookbook, entitled "Why Can't I Be You", features Alexandra Spencer (of the addictive 4th and Bleeker) and a young short haired lass whose name I can't find modelling pieces that are oh so blatantly influenced by Madonna - circa Desperately Seeking Susan. Not to say that's a bad thing - in fact, it's very, very good indeed. A great deal of lace, shoulder pads, crushed velvet, ripped stockings and attitude ensues.

*Note the sarcasm. Actually, I have an excuse this time: I don't have internet access at home at the moment so, being poor, all my internetting has to be done in the time and space constraints of the local library. Not that I'm complaining. Free internet is, after all, always good. Until you decide you want to upload 10 pictures from The Cassette Society's new collection. Then it's just plain frustrating.
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