Saturday, April 30, 2005

...Dancing the blues away...

...and inviting the flu to stay...

On more than one occasion I have been reliably informed that dancing is good for the soul. Be that as it may, I am now ably positioned to inform you that dancing is not necessarily good for the body.

As you may be aware, for the last week or so I have been the host of a battle between my immune system and the 2005 flu. My immune system has been putting in a valiant effort and appeared to be gaining the upper hand, until, in an act akin to treachery, I overruled my immune system and declared that I was going to last night's Cat Empire gig.

At the time my logic seemed sound, The Cat Empire are amazing, I was feeling better and the tickets were bought before I got sick, so how could I not go?

Now it may come as no surprise to you that The Cat Empire were simply amazing. It also may come as no surprise that this morning I feel like death warmed over.

My immune system has retreated in the face of the flu's retaliatory strike (which took the form of brisk Melbourne night and a little bit of jumping around) and I now feel that quivering in a corner is the most attractive option left open to me.

Add to that the fact that today is the last performance of "Weary" (in this season, we're relaunching in three weeks) , which means that I'll be loading equipment onto a truck until around 3 or 4am tomorrow morning, and suddenly it seems like the flu has been given a ticker-tape parade welcoming it back into my head, lungs and chest...

Now I'm sure there's a lesson in that somewhere, so, if anybody figures it out, please call me at the hospital and let me know what it is...

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Robert Henley Located Pt2

In a recent post I claimed that I had, by process of astute deduction, located the missing Robert Henley and that he was alive, well and working in the commercial sector.

Well now I have found further evidence to support my theory... Check out this article and see if you agree.

Ill humour...

I'm feeling a little better today, but only a little. The flu is still kicking me around in a pretty nasty way.

With that in mind, I find that I am unsure whether my following indulgence of schadenfreude is the result of my disturbed mind or my ill health, so let's just agree in advance - If you find the following offensive, blame it on my ill health... Deal?

My day was made considerably more enjoyable due to another man's misfortune. Still, I suspect that he only has himself to blame. After all, surely a man with a lisp knows better than to go up to a bar and order "six Stellas please"... I could have laughed for hours...

And whilst we're on the subject, and even though I sure I'm not the first person to make the observation, what sort of a sadist was the person who decided that the word for describing a speech impediment, in which a individual can not pronounce the letter "s", should include the letter "s"?

Monday, April 25, 2005

Truck identified...

In my last post I asked if anybody had noted the number of the truck which had wiped me out, well now I know the answer.

Its number plate is FLU-2005.

I've felt like crap for the last few days and woken up each morning feeling that little bit worse.

Still, it's not all bad. The two days house-bound have allowed me watch a fair bit of The West Wing. Which is, simply put, an amazing feat of television scripting... if only the real white house had politicians who were half as articulate.

I've also spent a bit of time surfing the web and was delighted to discover that, in a moment which boarders on the ridiculous, Paul was able to enter another country with a visa which had been WHITE OUTED OVER AND CORRECTED IN PEN.

It's nice to know that some countries still aren't particularly fussy about who they let in...

That's enough writing for now... It's time to go back to feeling sorry for myself and coughing in the corner...

Friday, April 22, 2005

Did someone get the number of that truck?

I'm feeling more than a little weary (pun intended).

"Weary" (the show, as opposed to the state of mind) opened last night in Melbourne.

The production week was one of the most difficult I've experienced so far, a fact which was intensified by the difficulties inherent in the venue (which is under-maintained and under-staffer) and the apparent inability of some of the company's office staff to finish basic tasks that are assigned to them.

Tues last week- "You just need to contact the hire company and arrange payment, otherwise they won't deliver the gear." "No problems. I'll get right on it"

Thurs last week- "Ummm... Why haven't you contacted the hire company? I'm getting a little nervous and the hire company is too?" "Oh! I'll do it now."

Monday morning - "I'm standing here with five crew who are costing you $20 per hour each and we've got nothing to do because YOU HAVEN'T CONTACTED THE HIRE COMPANY AND ARRANGED PAYMENT!"

Despite these few problems, the show opened well last night and the audience appears to love it.
I, on the other hand, feel like I've been run over by a road-train... Still, a few days rest and relaxation should cure that...

In other news, I received an card in the mail from Paul this week in which he chastised me for not linking to his blog. He is, of course, quite right to be annoyed. I've been meaning to update my side-bar for quite some time now, but needed the right incentive to do so.

Paul, I'm sorry for my slackness. I promise that your link will be there before the day is out...

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Tour Diary - Days 25-30 - Adelaide.

Last night was the final night of the show in Adelaide and I’ve just arrived back in Melbourne.

All-in-all the Adelaide experience was simply fantastic. There were many notable highlights, including; a half hour long conversation with a 70 year old gentleman about the various venereal diseases he has contracted over the years; having an inebriated gentlemen take a swing at me on Hindley Street, miss and then keep walking; the always amazing Kangaroo fillet and egg noodles at the Red Rock Café; finding Sharn two very cool birthday gifts (some girls like diamonds, but mine likes opals and bad taste bears); the purchasing of a number of incredible CDs (especially The Doves “Some Cities”, Ben Folds “Songs for Silverman” and DJ Trip “Recyclise”); the purchasing of a few good books; the discovery that Borders, whilst evil, serves some of the biggest coffees in the known world; and gelati from Alfresco’s (which, if you’ve been to Adelaide, you will understand).

The real highlight of being in Adelaide, however, was catching up with my dear friends Leah, Sharon and, the newly now counted as a dear friend, Adam.

Leah and Sharon both share a very special corner of my heart. I first met Leah in 2002 whilst I was at the Adelaide Festival. Leah was working the Fringe and fate threw us together one night when we both were up for a bit of a rage and so went to see The Bird perform. At the time I had only met Leah once before, but had decided that she seemed pretty cool. In essence, Leah is a petite hippy chick who has a habit of spontaneously bursting into operatic verse, which is a habit which appeals to my less than completely philistine soul.

At one point, at around 2am, I looked out into the courtyard below the Fringe club (where the Bird were performing) and noticed that there was game of hacky-sack in progress. Never one to shy away from a chance to kick a small bag of beads into the air, I headed on down to join in. An hour later I returned to the club.

One of the hacky-sack players was Sharon, whom I had played hacky-sack with the night before at the Spiegeltent. Sharon can only be described as a “Hacky-sack God”.

After I went back upstairs, I introduced Leah to Sharon. They got on like a house on fire. A week later I left Adelaide and returned to Melbourne and a year later Sharon married Leah’s brother Adam.

Despite only having spent a grand total of about a week actually in the company of these two girls, they are, with a doubt, two of my favourite people on the face of this planet. I feel deeply connected to them and incredibly sentimental whenever I’m in their company.

Catching up with them last week was absolutely wonderful and hopefully it won’t be another two and a half years before I see them again.

Tomorrow we begin the Melbourne bump in of “Weary”, the concept of which is filling me with a vague dread… Hopefully I’m just being a tad melodramatic and everything will work out fine, but I suspect that the next few days are going to be rather difficult.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

I think I hear the walking dude...

One of my favourite book as a teenager was Stephen King's "The Stand".

A modern parable about the dangers of playing with germs and the devil, this book excited and terrified me every time I read it.

It's been a decade since I last read it, but this disturbing article has brought it all flooding back.

Hmmmm... Looks like its time to go to Vegas...

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Dreams of being a rock god...

So, am I the only one who have just awoken from an incredibly complex dream in which he was a falsetto-voiced, leather pants wearing, constantly chafed rock god?


I thought so...

Monday, April 11, 2005

Tour Diary - Day 24 - Adelaide

We’'re only one day into the bump in and already Adelaide is looking odds on favorite to be the most enjoyable leg of the tour.

Now that has nothing (alright, very little) to do with the fact that I’ve just taken advantage of the fact that my hotel room/apartment has a spa and am currently in the process of listening to Groove Armada’s “Another Late Night” offering, but everything to do with the fact that I am about four hours ahead of schedule (which, as anyone who works in theatre will be able to attest, is a very rare occurrence).

Tomorrow looks like being quite a relaxing day.

As I sit here on my balcony, I am currently being quietly amused by the building next door.

Across a “Jackie Chan could jump it” lane way is an inner-city car park. The roof of the car park is about five floors up, which makes it about five floors lower than my balcony.

As I find myself staring at it, I can’t help but notice that, despite the apparent lack of access to the roof and the complete absence of any other tall buildings near by, the top of the car park is covered in junk. Junk which I can only assume has been thrown from the apartment block I am sitting in.

Looking down I can see –

1 x Yellow Pages Phone Directory;
1 x Pink frilly women’s underwear (soiled);
1 x Thong;
1 x Converse sneaker;
1 x Mills & Boon Romance Novel;
2 x Empty bottle of Coke;
and 1 x Empty bottle of Sprite.

Hmmmm… I wonder how all of these things could fit together. Anybody feel like hazarding a guess?

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Tour Diary - Day 23 - Melbourne to Adelaide

Following a brief break in Melbourne (and, in my, case Canberra) the time has arrived for us to once again head out on the road with the “Weary Dunlop Road Show”.

This time the destination is Adelaide.

Horror author Stephen King once described Adelaide as “the perfect setting for a horror film”. Now whilst I can understand the origins of his statement (there are, after all, a large number of decidedly “spooky” locations in Adelaide), I feel that I am forced to disagree with him.

In stark contrast to John Safran and three quarters of all Australians, I am quite fond of Adelaide and always get a kick out of visiting it.

One reason for this affection is that, in my experience, Adelaide is much more supportive of all things artistic. There are some amazingly art galleries here, some incredible theatres, a number of very impressive book shops and, most importantly, some of the most kick-arse record stores in the country.

I’m not kidding when I say that Adelaide has the most musically educated population that I’ve encountered in all of Australia. That fact may be heavily influenced by the yearly WOMADelaide concerts and the bi-annual Fringe Festival, but, whatever the reason, the end result is a city of such eclectic music vendors that it leaves Sydney and Melbourne to shame.

A lot of my spare time this week will be spent browsing through CD bins…

Another bonus for Adelaide, although one which was slightly unexpected, is the high quality of the accommodation we have been booked into.

The accommodation in Launceston and Hobart left a lot to be desired, so it’s lovely to be put up in a beautiful serviced apartment on the 10th floor of a hotel in the middle of the CBD. Admittedly, we are in the slight “sleazy” end of town, but I think that being nestled in between a number of strip clubs and the offices of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra adds a little much needed flair to our tour experience.

Tomorrow is the first day of bump in, so, for now, its time for me to get an earlier night. I am, however, sure that I’ll have a lot to say about Adelaide over the next week. It is, after all, one of my Australian cities…

Just don’t tell anybody I said that, okay? I’d hate for news of my Adelaide affection to result in my sense of taste to be called into question…

Saturday, April 09, 2005

A question for the Americans amongst you...

You'd think that, by now, I would have learnt to be careful when surfing the internet.

After all, there's all sorts of disturbing, subversive and pornographic things out there which my innocent eyes might stumble upon.

I thought, however, that clicking on a link provided by my trusted friend Cyzilla would be a fairly safe option...

Well, he's now a trusted friend no longer... I'm still twitching after this experience.

So my question for those of you who are reading this blog from within the United States of America is - Does it make you twitch too, or does it stir your patriotic hearts?

A question of theology...

I recently posed this question in an e-mail to Cyzilla, but I thought it was worth including here as well.

Is choosing to watch the "John Safran vs God" DVD instead of the Pope's funeral merely a cynical display of inspired blasphemy or an evolved form of entertainment-driven theological consumption?

I'll let you decide.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Robert Henley located.

When Neurocam's illusive Robert Henley disappeared from public life, the accusations and theories ran riot. Was he reassigned to Brussels? Did he attend a Fiat Nox BBQ? Was he turned into Tepanyaki by Iocus Severus? Or did he just decide that it was time for a holiday?

Now the truth can be told!

After a massive investigation, and the clicking on a random link or two, I believe I have located Robert Henley.

He is working for Sony... Or, at least, that's what this article leads me to believe...

It's always a little unnerving when fiction and fact collide...

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Busy With Brotherly Politics...

It's not that I don't love you all, it's just that I've been a little preoccupied...

This week I've been incredibly busy with the bump in of MTC's latest production "Two Brothers". 65 hours of work in 4 days doesn't leave much time for anything else besides sleeping, so you'll have to excuse the enforced lack of blogging.

Based upon the Costello Brothers , "Two Brothers" is a comic drama which centres around two brothers who have dramatically different political beliefs. Throw in some asylum seekers, some drug taking rich kids and a parliamentary sex scandal, and the stage is set for an often funny, but politically pointed night of theatre.

When I haven't been rigging, focusing and automating theatre technology, I've been engaging in a little political edification. I'm about half way through "God Under Howard" by Marion Maddock which is an incredibly fascinating read... Do you know how many of our politicians attend daily prayer meetings before heading off to run the country? The answer may surprise you.

In addition to the ongoing intake of political infotainment, I have also been absorbing a little bit of Darko-technotainment in the form of this amazing mix I found on MixDepot... Hmmmm... Tangential beats rock my alternate universe...

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Mix Depot.

This one's only for those of you with access to broadband.

Although I am firmly of the opinion that everybody should support an artist by buying their CDs rather than merely file sharing on the internet, that doesn't stop me from being an avid downloader of DJ sets. My logic dictates that most sets are available through no other means, will only get a listen or two and that some of them are just too good to miss.

Due to this internal justification, the website Hybridized has long been a favourite haunt of mine and has lead to a massive amount finding its way to my hard-drive.

Now, however, the minds behind Hybridized have out-done themselves.

MixDepot is a brand new site where DJs from around the globe make their sets available for those of us who are addicted to downloading. It's got tons of amazing sets from DJs you've probably never heard of.

I only started checking it out a few hours ago and I'm sure that my internet provider will already be wondering why there's been such a drastic spike in the amount of traffic.

Is there copyright issues at stake? Probably, but at least my mum will be happy that I'm not downloading porn...

Mulled wine and a five day growth.

If you've been hanging around these parts lately you may have noticed a distinct lack of blogging over the last week and half. The main reason for this occurrence is the fact that I had no contact with any computers what-so-ever over the Easter weekend.

Instead of blogging for your entertainment, Sharn and I spent five nights and six days camping at the National Folk Festival in Canberra.

Now I can understand how, if you have never been to this event before, the idea of a folk festival may sound a little alarming, but the fact of the matter is that, over the ten years I've been attending regularly, it's become one of my favourite music events in the country.

Sure, there's an overabundance of banjos, mandolins and tin flutes, men with excessively long beards, unwashed women with tye-dyed dresses and untalented buskers (as well as some extremely talented ones), but all-in-all the National is a weekend of amazing music, company and fun.

How can you not love a festival where you can stumble across, as I did, a group of Tibetan monks playing hacky-sack?

The musical high-lights of this year's festival were, in my opinion, many, but my personal faves were Unified Gecko, a Turkish-funk fusion act from Melbourne, and the O'Hooligans, a Pogues-like act of suitably rowdy demeanor.

Another act of note was Martin Pearson, who delivered a side-splittingly funny parody of The Lord of The Rings. His show "The Unfinished Spelling Errors of Bolkien" will be making an appearance at this year's International Comedy Festival in Melbourne, so if you're a fan of all things Tolkien, are in Melbourne, and find yourself with a spare evening, then I highly recommend that you check it out.

My favourite moment of the festival, however, had nothing at all to do with music. Instead it eventuated when I was standing in the midst of the festival, chatting with my friend Jared (who, for those who aren't aware, is one of the people responsible for the running of the National Folk Festival) when a young lad walked up to us and started talking to Jared.

The young gentlemen in question was dressed in a rather scruffy manner and was wearing a traffic cone on his head. Upon the traffic cone, written in black permanent marker, was a large "D". As the discussion continued, it soon became apparent that the young gentlemen was also in something of a compromised mental state (due, perhaps, to the fact he may have mistaken a certain noxious weed for tobacco) and was, thus, having a great deal of difficultly getting his point across.

It was also immediately apparent to me that Jared had absolutely no idea who this young gentleman was.

After a few minutes of confusion, we managed to establish that the lad knew Jared from the period of his life Jared spent as a school teacher and was, in fact, one of his ex-students. The look on Jared's face was priceless, I could barely control my laughter and the young man seemed delighted to have caught up with one of the people responsible for making him a worthwhile member of society. It was, without a doubt, my most memorable moment of the festival.

Apart from watching Jared in a state of confusion, I also thoroughly enjoyed getting to spend six straight days with Sharn. With my tour schedule and her shift work, it's quite rare for us to get to see each other for more than a few minutes a week, so six days in a tent was almost luxury.

Add to that the mass catch-up with friends on the Saturday night, the fabulous mulled wine and the general festive spirit and the number of mind-boggling good muscians and I 'm sure you can understand why posting on my blog was the furtherest thing from my mind.

Jared, you did a fantastic job of running the festival this year and it was a pleasure to be a part of it... Now I just have to juggle my schedule so I can make sure I'm there next year...

Friday, April 01, 2005

It's Official!

We are destroying the planet at such a rate that it is entirely likely that we may cause our own extinction.

A little dramatic? You could be forgiven for thinking so, but the UN Millenium Project has just released it's Millenium Ecosystem Assessment and the results are more than a little disturbing.

What amazes me, however, is how little coverage this issue has received beyond the ABC. Try having a look around the websites of Australia's major newspapers and you'll soon discover a complete lack of information. Is our own destruction simply not newsworthy? Or is it merely not entertaining enough?

The second thing which amazes me is that, at least according to this story, the Howard Government has already attacked the report's credibility. Apparently the Federal Environment Minister has "concerns, one that it's not telling us anything new, and two it's not particularly robust." I find it simply astounding that a single POLITICIAN can claim to know better than one thousand three hundred and sixty of the world's leading SCIENTISTS, unless, of course, the Liberal party have developed a manner, or a suitably thick needle, with which to inject scientific knowledge directly into the minds of it's politicians...

Now that is something I would pay to see.

Seriously though, at what point will the sheer number of people screaming "there's something wrong here" compel others to start listening to them? Or is it that the combination of so many voices screaming has resulted in an unbearable din which quickly made them all deaf?