Review: ‘On The Record’ powerfully confronts the music industry’s eternal misogyny struggle

Review: ‘On The Record’ powerfully confronts the music industry’s eternal misogyny struggle

Note: The following review contains sexual violence themes and testimony of sexual assault pertaining to the depictions of the On The Record documentary. Reader discretion advised.

On The Record is a powerful and confronting exploration into the sexual assault allegations against hip hop and rap ‘godfather’ Russell Simmons from the female gaze of his numerous accusers.

“I want to be a warrior, I’m tired of being a victim.” – Drew Dixon.

If you don’t know who Drew Dixon is, learn her name and explore her rich musical resume before knowing her story. Dixon should’ve been making different headlines to those that follow her now. Once a prominent figure in the music world as an A&R executive at Def Jam Recordings and Arista Records in the early ’90s, Dixon was leagues ahead of the rest with a promising career on the horizon.

She championed the biggest names in hip hop including The Notorious B.I.G., paired Mary J Blige with Method Man for the Grammy Award-winning duet, ‘I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need to Get By’ and Aretha Franklin with Lauryn Hill for 1998’s ‘A Rose Is Still A Rose’, and had a keen eye for talent seeing greatness in scene newcomers Kanye West and John Legend.

Then she disappeared entirely. From career highlight – working with hip hop mogul, Russell Simmons, whom she was “proud of” and had love for – to silence.

In 2017 as the #MeToo movement was heating up, Dixon broke her silence, re-emerging in The New York Times, to go public with her account of having been raped by Simmons. Over 20 women have since spoken out against Simmons with similar accounts of sexual assault. On The Record is an empathetic exploration into the accusations, following Dixon as she sifts through the aftermath of speaking out.

“After finding peace, it’s inviting chaos into our lives,” she says.

But it’s much more than that. As a passionate music champion, Dixon explains that she also “didn’t want to let the culture down”. A culture that has a frightening history of misogyny and race division embedded deeply in both the music community and the Black community through dialogue, representation and values. On The Record does an admirable job dissecting this.

Through the voices of prominent Black thought leaders, activists, journalists, and academics including #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, author Kimberlé Crenshaw, Shanita Hubbard and Kierna Mayo, the concerned topics are tackled with great insight and execution.

Hip hop feminist and author Joan Morgan explains in the documentary, “When things went awry, if things were uncomfortable, if they were misogynist, if they were sexist, you didn’t get a lot of sympathy for that. That was considered the price of admission.”

“That language [used by males in the industry] set the tone but I didn’t see it at the time,” Dixon further attests.

A backdrop of music videos with rappers surrounded by nearly-naked females, and songs containing vile lyrics towards women carousels, standing as clear evidence of the discourse.

On The Record shifts between breaking down the industry culture, discussing the prominence of the #MeToo movement, telling Dixon’s story, and telling other accusers stories all while drawing on sound evidence. The documentary structure could have been more linear, but it still gets the message across loud and clear.

The standout detail for the documentary, however, is in directors Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering’s empathetic approach to tackling the heavy topics. This is particularly notable when Dixon and fellow accusers Sheri Sher, Sil Lai Abrams and Alexia Norton Jones are recounting their sexual assault and rape stories.

The underscoring beats fade to dead silence. “I blacked out as a self-preservation strategy,” Dixon recalls. “I was reduced to nothing in that moment. I was nothing. I was trash.”

“I was a living crime scene,” Sher recounts. “He pinned me down on the couch in his office and I was screaming.”

It’s triggering, it’s confronting, and it’s highly-emotional watching these women relive their trauma caused by Simmons. But it is important.

Dick and Ziering capture the aftermath of not only enduring the assault but the scars that these women carry each and every day. They capture the repercussions for victims; the career opportunities they have lost and the relationships that have broken down as a result.

They capture the trauma of speaking out and being pitted against their accuser and community, but also the underlying sense of female empowerment. As Kierna Mayo says, “We lose, we all lose when brilliant women go away.”

On The Record not only forms an understanding of the accusations and the events, but is also fuel for discussion in the music industry, in the Black community and wider society around rape culture, sexual assault and misogyny.

On The Record is screening as part of MIFF 68½. The festival runs from now until Sunday August 23. Head to the festival website for tickets and the full program.

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National Wool Museum is championing sustainable fashion with its new virtual exhibition

We The Makers is a new biennial design festival showcasing slow fashion from around the world.

Geelong’s National Wool Museum is spotlighting sustainability within the global fashion industry, which has become one of the most wasteful industries on the planet, with its new We The Makers biennial design festival.

With the physical exhibition currently closed to the public as a result of the stage three lockdown in regional Victoria, you can check out We The Makers through the digital exhibition.

The exhibition focuses on the theme ‘Design for the Future: Sustainable and Ethical Textiles and Fashion’ by showcasing 21 professional and emerging designers from around the world whose work is ethically and sustainably produced.

With Australians buying an average of 27kg of clothing and textiles each year, the second-highest per capita amount in the world, National Wool Museum is looking at the slow fashion movement to prompt Australians to ask where their clothes come from, who made them and where they go when we’re finished with them.

The exhibition, which launched in late June, also involved a competition judged by fashion industry designers and experts. The major prize of $10,000 was shared by two winners, Melbourne designer Rebecca Gully for her futuristic ‘Neutron Dance; what to wear to the disco apocalypse’ and the Newcastle-based Foong sisters of the slow fashion label High Tea With Mrs Woo, for their design ‘Six Seasons’.

Not only can you explore the collection online, but you can cast a vote for your favourite design for the People’s Choice Award.

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MEET THE MAKERS: CATERINA MONEA – FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE The National Wool Museum would like to introduce all 21 designers featured in We The Makers Designer Showcase. Over the next three weeks we'll feature a new maker and their video. Local designer Caterina 'Fight for the Future' dress was designed around the concept of our future being in desperate need of a sustainability hero. "In the designing and researching processes, I was inspired by superhero looks and began to put my own high fashion twist on this concept." To read more about the garment or if it was your favourite design follow the link in our bio to vote now in the Peoples Choice. The winner of the People’s Choice prize receives $2,000 from Geelong UNESCO City of Design. Follow @caterina_co_ on Instagram #WTM #Wethemakers #NWM #TheNationalWoolMuseum #geelong #exhibition #thingstodo #wool #fun #sustainablefashion #sustainability

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Check out the digital Meet The Makers biennial design festival here until November 22. 

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Review: ‘Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets’ conveys the inelegance and racket of a night on the piss

Pour yourself a neat whisky or three in readiness for this drunken escapade.

This is a drinking movie. A beer and whiskey movie. A piece of cinéma vérité centred on an all-nighter in a legitimate dive bar. If you’re of a certain generation – one that’s come to view the American dive as the epitome of hipsterdom – that description might have you licking your lips.

But Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets is not a romanticised projection. The cast of characters aren’t all attractive middle-class millennials sinking tins of Pabst Blue Ribbon and discussing their respective acronyms according to the Myers-Briggs metric. But it’s not lacking in sentimentality, either.

The events of Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets occur almost entirely within the walls of The Roaring 20’s, a bar in a Las Vegas strip mall during its final day and night of operation. The bar is located in the city’s northern suburbs, and so nowhere near the garish gluttony of the Strip.

It’s due to be torn down as part of a redevelopment project. And although little emphasis is placed on the apathetic crusades of developers – who’re prone to tearing down establishments that mightn’t draw thumping profits, but carry strong significance for the locals – this sort of commentary is implied by directors, brothers Bill and Turner Ross.

The Roaring 20’s is a dive in the most unsophisticated sense. It’s a hideout for ailing drunks and a low-key hangout for neighbourhood 20-somethings. It’s a democratic locale where age-based segregation is left at the door.

Inside, no one’s too cool for anyone else, or too insufferable for that matter. The drinks, one presumes, are cheap. The decor tacky, with flashing slot machines punctuating the otherwise suffocatingly-dim lighting. The bar staff are familial and categorically respected. The conversations aren’t always scintillating, but occasionally – when the booze balance is just right – contain philosophical or political import.

The Rosses make a purposeful attempt to portray the inelegance and unpredictability of a heavy day and night on the piss. There isn’t a great deal of physical activity – the dozen or so gathered regulars spend most of the film sat around the bar. People move seats occasionally or perhaps stand up in a moment of intoxicated inspiration. But the Ross brothers do a stellar job at portraying the way in which a night on the turps can feel like an occasion of great animation.

With each drink, the room reconfigures; each conversation, no matter how banal or fleeting, takes on a sense of critical importance. The Rosses convey the drinkers’ altered consciousnesses courtesy of disorienting close-ups, foggy lenses, and by not interfering with the less-than-ideal lighting situation.

Given the film’s compelling content, I’m reluctant to reveal that Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets isn’t as organic as it purports to be. The characters, while most of them not trained actors, nor following a script, aren’t a regular band of neighbourhood drunks. They were hired for the film, which was shot over two separate nights in the real Roaring 20’s – a bar in New Orleans’ low-income Terrytown neighbourhood.

I watched the film with my partner, who bought so deeply into the characters that the revelation of the film’s artifice felt like a betrayal. But the drinks, drugs, hugs and conversations are all real. And the fact you find yourself so engrossed, both sensually and intellectually, in the goings on at The Roaring 20’s is a testament to the filmmakers’ skilful execution.

Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets is screening as part of MIFF 68½. The festival runs from now until Sunday August 23. Head to the festival website for tickets and the full program.

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After 12 compelling episodes, season one of Beat’s ‘Turning Heads’ podcast has come to a close

The likes of Westerman, Snowy Band, Simona Castricum, Rebel Yell, Allara and Dianas appeared throughout the season.

After 12 episodes featuring interviews with a range of emerging artists from Melbourne, Sydney and overseas, season one of Beat’s Turning Heads podcast has come to a close.

Throughout the season, host Augustus Welby explored the artists’ creative processes, uncovering unique blueprints for success, and welcoming listeners along for a relaxed and relatable journey.

With more up-and-coming artists in the wings, the Turning Heads podcast now readies itself for season two, set to kick off in late August.

To celebrate season one in its entirety, we’ve assembled the 12 episodes from top to bottom, kicking off with Melbourne expat and former Gypsy & The Cat member, Sonny.   

#1: Melbourne expat Xavier Bacash, aka Sonny, is based in Copenhagen, Denmark. This interview looks at Sonny’s first LP, Union: Integration of the Shadow. The record, which came out in April, is Bacash’s first full-length project since the break-up of his old band, Gypsy & The Cat.

#2. We catch up with Melbourne musician Giuliano Ferla, who fronts the band Ferla, for episode two. The conversation focuses on It’s Personal, Ferla’s debut album from April 2019, as well as Giuliano’s philosophies on creativity, staying motivated and his teen fashion regrets.

#3. Episode three features Barcelona-based, Australian songwriter Steve Smyth who released the EP, Blood, in May. It’s Smyth’s first release since 2014’s Exits LP. He speaks about his long absence from the release radar and the sorts of personal hurdles he had to jump over in order to feel comfortable releasing new material.

#4. We chat to Sydney artist Rackett, aka Rebecca Callander, for episode three of Turning Heads. Callander spoke of how her newfound love for artists like Charli XCX, Tyler, The Creator, Dorian Electra and A$AP Rocky encouraged her to cast off the rock-oriented sound of the former Rackett and relaunch the project in technicolour.

#5. Episode five features Melbourne musician Liam “Snowy” Halliwell of Snowy Band and formerly of The Ocean Party. The conversation looks at The Ocean Party’s prolific release history and Snowy Band’s new album Audio Commentary, which came out in March and also features Emma Russack (guitar/backing vocals), Dylan Young (Way Dynamic; drums/backing vocals) and Nathalie Pavlovic (Dianas; bass/backing vocals).

#6. We catch up with Dianas’ bass player and vocalist Nathalie Pavlovic for episode six. Dianas released their second full-length album Baby Baby in early May. The record sits somewhere on the post-punk spectrum, while also carrying a spirit of fearless expression. Pavlovic tells Turning Heads what it feels like to put out the first Dianas album in five years and how the band’s confidence has grown over the years.

#7. Episode seven features a conversation with Melbourne icon Simona Castricum about her third full-length album, Panic/Desire. It’s Simona’s strongest work to date, covering synth-pop, dark-wave and queer electronic disco, as well as more abstract, dream-scaping. It’s also a concept album that Simona describes as “an allegory about gender nonconformity lived in the spaces between urban and digital realms”.

#8. We welcomed London musician Will Westerman to the show for episode eight. Will started releasing music under the Westerman name in 2016 and his debut album, Your Hero Is Not Dead, came out in June 2020. Will speaks about his relationship with producer Bullion (aka Nathan Jenkins), which has seen him expand beyond his folk origins to make music that resembles artists like Arthur Russell and Talk Talk.

#9. Episode nine features Melbourne-based, Yorta Yorta musician, Allara. The conversation focuses on Allara’s single, ‘Murnong Farm’. The primary impetus for the song’s themes was Bruce Pascoe’s book Dark Emu, which looks at the advanced nature of Indigenous farming pre-European invasion of 1788. The other major influence was Behrouz Boochani’s No Friend But The Mountains, written during the Kurdish-Iranian journalist’s Manus Island incarceration.

#10. For episode ten, we chat to Sydney-based electro-punk musician Grace Stevenson, who makes music as Rebel Yell. Stevenson speaks about the new Rebel Yell album, Fall From Grace, which came out on July 10. Fall From Grace is furious in tone, but also really energising – there are a lot of distorted, brawny sounds; it’s very percussive, very bassy, and always high velocity.

#11. Emerging Melbourne indie-pop musician Poppongene, aka Sophie Treloar, is our guest for episode 11. This conversation focuses on Poppongene’s debut EP, Futures Unsure, which came out at the beginning of July 2020. It’s eight songs worth of spirited indie-pop with an aberrant inclination – it doesn’t always take the most logical route from A to B.

#12. Episode 12 features Los Angeles musician Alex Izenberg whose second solo album, Caravan Chateau, came out on July 31. The record is evocative of late-’60s/early-’70s singer-songwriter, prog and psych rock/pop while also touching on Laurel Canyon folk rock and Scott Walker-esque baroque pop. Izenberg speaks passionately about his influences, which include Pink Floyd, Fleet Foxes, Crosby Still & Nash, King Crimson and Jim Croce.

Turning Heads series two is launching in late August. We’ve put together a Spotify playlist spotlighting the guests for season one. Give it a spin below.

You can find the Turning Heads podcast on SpotifyPodbean and through Apple.

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Tropical Fuck Storm reveal new single, ‘Legal Ghost’

TFS are back!

Australia’s favourite warped art-punk band, Tropical Fuck Storm, have just lifted the lid on a new single, ‘Legal Ghost’. It’s the first release from the band since they unveiled the Suburbiopia 7-inch earlier this year and stands as the band’s second single from a yet-to-be-named 2021 record that’s in the works.

TFS mastermind Gareth Liddiard says ‘Legal Ghost’ was the first “decent” song he ever wrote. You might have already heard the track – it recently appeared in a different ilk on Bong Odyssey, the record Liddiard put out alongside Drones bandmate, Rui Pereira, earlier this year.

“This is the first song I ever wrote that I thought was a decent song,” Liddiard says. “Everything before it was just a big tantrum, but this song had a touch of class. When I was putting the Bong Odyssey record together again last year, I heard it and thought it was something that could work well with TFS.

“The original was really cool, but it still sounded more like a sketch of a song and wasn’t quite fully realised, so I took the song to TFS and we fleshed it out a bit.”

‘Legal Ghost’ will be released as a 7-inch alongside a cover of the iconic Talking Heads track, ‘Heaven’. Both ‘Legal Ghost’ and ‘Heaven’ were originally recorded on a four-track machine over 20 years ago and featured guest performances from members of Augie March and Suss Cunts.

Give ‘Legal Ghost’ a spin below.

‘Legal Ghost’ is out now on streaming platforms. It will also be released on vinyl on Friday September 11 through Flightless Records.

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Hulu’s ‘High Fidelity’ reboot is a rare example of a remake bettering the original

Despite being cancelled after one season, the new High Fidelity series was the best version of the classic story yet.

Released on Valentine’s Day in the United States exclusively via Hulu before making its way to Australian screens via the ABC, the Zoë Kravitz-starring adaptation of Nick Hornby’s 1995 novel High Fidelity has been cancelled after just one season.   

The adaptation earned less than favourable reviews upon its release, with The Guardian dubbing it “too cool for its own good” while Pitchfork questioned the logic of revisiting a story entrenched in “insufferable masculinity”.

But, the latter critique isn’t reason not to revisit this story. In fact, it’s exactly why we needed to take another crack at it.

Usually, I’d roll my eyes at the idea of a remake and wonder, ‘Is nothing sacred?’ – that was certainly my reaction to the John Cusack-starring film adaptation that proceeded Hornby’s novel in 2000 – but in this instance, an update was not only justified but deserved.

Not just retelling, but reframing this narrative was important because it created an opportunity to quash the tired tropes perpetuated by both the film and novel.

Firstly, it demonstrates that being passionate and knowledgeable about music aren’t traits exclusive to men and secondly, it portrays love in multiple forms rather than through the narrow lens of a straight, white, cisgender man.

Dating has changed significantly since Hornby’s novel first hit the shelves in the ’90s. The recent remake explores a fluid representation of sexual orientation, as well as new territory like Instagram-stalking your ex’s new love interest or accidentally seeing a suspicious-looking text on your partner’s lock screen and letting your imagination run wild with the worst possible scenarios.

As both a music devotee and a hopeless romantic, I devoured High Fidelity when a copy first fell into my hands, but despite Hornby’s beautifully articulated portrayal of those of us who “live life at too high a pitch”, I found it hard to connect to a novel so clearly rooted in misogyny.

As for the film, I watched it across two sittings because I was so exhausted by the entitled ‘nice guy’ that had replaced Hornby’s equally flawed, yet somewhat self-aware protagonist, Rob.

Rob is intended to be an asshole in every version of this tale, and while Kravitz’s iteration frequently calls herself out on her own shitty behaviour, Cusack points the finger at everyone else. At least the novel presented its main character with enough irony to redeem itself.

Cusack’s Rob is the personification of toxic masculinity. I mean, just look at that scene where he goads an ex into telling him that she was basically raped as an indirect result of his emotional abuse, which entirely skewed her view of sex for years, and his takeaway from the interaction is the reminder that he dumped her, not vice versa like he’d remembered. Therefore, he has no reason to waste another thought on her or that relationship ever again. Phew!

The film perpetuates the notion that if a man harasses a woman for long enough, she’ll eventually give in and settle for him despite the fact that he does not deserve a second chance and has done nothing in the way of addressing his behaviour or the issues that caused problems in the relationship to begin with.

The reboot warns that if you treat everyone around you like shit, you’ll end up day-drinking alone in a dive bar.

Its portrayal of love in a way that is realistic and inclusive aside, Hulu’s High Fidelity does a damn good job on the music front, too.

Lead by Executive Music Supervisor Questlove and a team including Manish Raval and Tom Wolfe (Donnie Darko, Green Book), Alison Rosenfeld (Good Girls, New Girl) and Zoë Kravitz, the soundtrack is a refreshing and affecting compilation of classics and deep cuts.

It even presents one of many Easter eggs in the form of a cameo from Debbie Harry, an ode to the film which featured a mirage-like visit from Bruce Springsteen, who gives Rob a pep-talk on love while dancing around her living room to ‘Once I Had A Love (The Disco Song)’.

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i wanna give a shout out to my #highfidelity family. thank you for all the love and heart you put into this show. i'm in awe of all of you. and thank you to everyone who watched, loved and supported us. ✌🏽 #breakupssuck

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But it goes much deeper than a good soundtrack. The series is critical of the art it idolises, rather than putting it on a pedestal. It seeks to truly understand and debate music, raising questions like how many vocal overdubs can a record constitute and still be called a ‘live album’ and, most notably, should we still listen to music made by problematic artists?

“How does it benefit society to hold Quincy’s genius hostage just because the dude that sang over his shit ended up being a full-blown child molester?” questions Rob after Cherise (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) tells a customer she can’t buy a copy of Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall, sparking a conversation around the parameters of cancel culture.

“You still listen to a dude who raps in a MAGA hat,” she adds, before Simon (David H. Holmes) chimes in.

“What if the only artists we were allowed to listen to were inarguably nice people, right, with unassailably perfect ethics? We’d have to destroy every record in existence except for Bono, Phil Collins, Michael Stipe, Sufjan Stevens…”

Even Hornby, who was initially hesitant about the reboot, thought the series was triumphant in bringing his story into a new era.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the show,” he wrote in an open letter published by Rolling Stone. “And if I catch anyone saying it’s self-consciously “woke,” what with its gender reversals and its inclusion of more than one race/sexuality, I will come ’round to your house and put you back to sleep. Because, guess what: High Fidelity isn’t just about you. It’s about people who aren’t like you, too.”

But what was most exciting about the series was the potential for where it would lead us next. Towards the end of season one, High Fidelity drifted from the original storyline to suggest an alternative ending. It feels painfully ironic that a series built on the foundation of needing to know all the answers leaves us with so many questions left unresolved.

As High Fidelity taught us, breakups suck. And getting over this one is going to take some time.

Watch High Fidelity on ABC iview.   

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Ten definitive Australian rock tracks, according to The Casanovas

In preparation for the band’s new album, set to be unveiled on Friday August 28.

Historically speaking, the greatest rock’n’roll stories tend not to be the ones about the bands who burn fast and hard, but about the bands who do so and live to tell the tale. This couldn’t be any truer for The Casanovas – the seminal Australian rock group who were considered as one of the country’s premier rock outfits at the height of their powers.

With their furious blend of alternative and hard rock and carrying all the sensibilites of a good pub-rock band, The Casanovas played fast and hard throughout the 2000s, with their eponymous debut and 2006’s All Night Long establishing them as a true force to be reckoned with.

After an extended hiatus without new material, the band regrouped later to record 2015’s Terra Casanova, reigniting their passion for the longstanding project and eventually seeing them continue writing to create their latest album, Reptilian Overlord. 

Recorded with the legendary Mark Opitz (The Angels, AC/DC), Reptilian Overlord promises to be the best Casanovas album to date, with singer/guitarist Tommy Boyce, bassist Damo Campbell and drummer Brett “Wolfie” Wolfenden working with Opitz to refine their sound for a new generation of listeners. Judging from the strength of previously-released singles ‘Lost and Lonely Dreams’ and ‘Red Hot’, it seems The Casanovas could just be getting started all over again, making for a true Australian rock’n’roll survival story for the ages.

Before Reptilian Overlord arrives later this August, we linked up with Brett, Tommy and Damo to find out what their favourite Australian rock tracks are, tracing the lineage of The Casanovas’ place within the canon of Aussie rock.

The Saints – ‘This Perfect Day’

Tommy: The Saints at their most ferocious here. That hypnotic, searing B minor riff through the verses that explodes into that stomping chorus always gets me. They sound so primal it makes me think they didn’t even realise they were changing key for the chorus.

When we started The Casanovas I remember thinking it’d be easy to write songs like The Saints because they are pretty simple musically. In fact the opposite is true; the more limited the palette of chords and melody, the more creative you need to be to find song ideas that have something special and The Saints managed that many times. Their pissed-off, punk attitude always seems so genuine and uncontrived. They’ll always be my favourite punk band.

Sunnyboys – ‘Alone With You’

Tommy: The best ’60s surf rock song from 1981 by a mile. Love the the driving simplicity of the rhythm section and jangly guitars in this. Jeremy Oxley’s vocal delivery is so disarmingly honest and I love the way he doesn’t have to rhyme all the time. “Watching you walk/You know you’re really attractive” is pure genius. I have fond memories of my older brother showing me this record when I was little.

Hoodoo Gurus – ‘Bittersweet’

Tommy: What an epic song. I love the way the Hoodoo Gurus can balance rock’n’roll with pop melody. For me, bands that do can do this well are the greatest. It’s not too sweet and poppy but also not just rocking out without melody or emotion… Just perfectly bittersweet, like a good dark chocolate. The Hoodoo Gurus were the first band I saw live – Festival Hall in 1988 on their Blow Your Cool tour. They were magnificent. It’s remarkable to me how great they sound with Dave Faulkner’s baritone voice.

Masters Apprentices – ‘Undecided’

Brett: The blistering debut single of arguably Australia’s finest ‘60s beat group. In their formative years they were a garage/R&B proto-punk outfit before veering their style more towards psychedelia and prog. Co-written by original member Mick Bower whose early songs propelled the band in it’s first wave before leaving the group shortly thereafter. Mature, powerhouse vocal by 20-year-old Jim Keays and I was privileged to perform this song live onstage with him before his untimely death.

You Am I – ‘It Ain’t Funny How We Don’t Talk Anymore’

Brett: From the energetic count-in to the driving floor tom and insistent guitar riff, this track showcases the band’s rawness at its finest. Taken from the 2006 album Convicts, the entire LP is a roundhouse of furious punches track after track and has the band in scintillating form. In my opinion, there isn’t a bad You Am I album in the crop, and the mark of any truly great band is their ability to consistently release album after album of top shelf quality.

The Easybeats – ‘Sorry’

Brett: From the searing guitar intro, this song is a cacophony of howling and screeching six-strings that just doesn’t decrease in intensity at any point. This song for mine is the height of The Easybeats’ pre-’70s gold prior to their production indulgences. The simplicity of singing one-word for the chorus is extremely catchy despite being a tricky device to execute.

AC/DC – ‘Let There Be Rock’

Damo: What can be said that hasn’t already been said about this song? Just a perfect rock song, if there is such a thing. In fact, this whole album captured AC/DC better than any other in my humble opinion. ‘Let There Be Rock’ has that pumping rhythm section drive that doesn’t let up. Always just ahead, pushing the beat. I love the second part of the song, in the verses where it changes in the riff, just takes it up a notch.

Freeloaders – ‘Dead Before My Time’

Damo: One of my all time favourites, with one of the best and toughest riffs you will ever hear. This was always a go-to song when hijacking a stereo back in the party days! The song, while tough, still has a really great swing and groove. Guy Lucas’s vocals are supreme. The scream into the guitar solo is wild!

Celibate Rifles – ‘Cycle’

Damo: I absolutely love this song. The haunting riff of this song is amazing. I love the stereo vocal mix of Damian Lovelock and Kathleen Stewart. The song builds beautifully with a great organ sound over the riff and then eventually kicks in with the whole band. I remember being on tour driving in a Tarago going through the South Australian desert listening to this. Just set the scene perfectly in the sparse desolation.

Fridge – ‘Get What You Want’

Damo: This is where rock’n’roll started for me, live and up close. My foray into tough, sweaty pub-rock, back in a day when there was still danger in rock’n’roll. The recorded version of this song, whilst really great, never really captured the power and energy of Fridge live. Growing up in Tassie, I still remember the first time watching the pure raw energy of Fridge playing in a jam-packed pub.

The Casanovas’ new album Reptilian Overlord is out on Friday August 28. Preorder it here.

This article originally appeared on Mixdown Magazine

Festivals to receive restart grants as part of Federal Government’s $250 million JobMaker plan

Some of the details of the JobMaker plan were announced today.

The Federal Government has today announced some of the details of its $250 million JobMaker plan it revealed in late June. Created to “help restart the creative economy and get the entertainment, arts and screen sectors back to work”, the JobMaker plan will support a number of facets of the industry including organisations like Screen Australia in restarting the film and TV sector, as well as providing loans for creative economy businesses to get things back on the road.

Within the $250 million commitment comes the $75 million Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund, designed to provide funding to arts organisations, companies and promoters to support new events on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As he announced the finer details, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, reinforced the Morrison Government’s ongoing commitment to the creative industry.

“The RISE Fund will provide grants of between $75,000 and $2 million to help restart activities such as festivals, concerts, tours and events once it is safe to do so,” Minister Fletcher said.

“The grants will allow the arts sector reactivate, re-imagine and create new cultural experiences, including innovative operating and digital delivery models. This will help keep artists, performers, roadies, front of house staff and all those who work behind the scenes employed.

“I encourage eligible organisations across Australia to familiarise themselves with the RISE Fund guidelines ahead of applications opening later this month to help bring arts and entertainment back to Australian audiences.”

Minister Kennedy continued by revealing some statistics that consolidated the importance of Australia’s creative industries.

“Australia’s creative and cultural sector is an important component of Australia’s economy, generating $112 billion a year and stimulating activity in adjacent sectors such as tourism and hospitality. Having a strong creative and cultural sector will be important in rebuilding the economy following COVID-19.”

Applications for grants under the RISE Fund open on August 31 and can be made until May 31, 2021.

Find out more about the announcement here.

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Review: ‘The Go-Go’s’ is a fascinating documentation of the greatest-ever all-female band

The Go-Go’s have never received the critical plaudits they truly deserve.

Capturing the band’s meteoric rise to fame in the early ’80s, director Alison Ellwood’s (Magic Trip: Ken Kesey’s Search for a Kool Place) documentary The Go-Go’s is a gleeful walk down a neon-lit, coke and booze-fueled memory lane. All of which might come as something of a pleasant shock for folks more familiar with the wholesome pop career of frontwoman Belinda Carlisle.

It’s nice to remember that well before ‘Heaven is a Place on Earth’ there was The Go-Go’s pop-punk feminist anthem, ‘We Got the Beat’. As Bikini Kill and Le Tigre’s Kathleen Hanna reminds us, ‘We Got the Beat’ fueled the imagination of a generation of riot grrrls.

It’s only fitting then that the eponymously-titled doco returns The Go-Go’s to their rightful place in musical memory. Specifically, when The Go-Go’s debut album Beauty and the Beat hit number one on the Billboard chart in 1981 and stayed in pole position for six weeks, they made history. At the time, the concept of an all-female band who could write their own songs, play their own instruments and be that successful was revolutionary.

Undoubtedly, there’d been other killer all-girl groups in the past, such as The Runaways and The Shangri-Las, but The Go-Go’s didn’t have a Svengali pulling the strings. Up to and including their first album, they were dancing to the beat of their own drum. Moreover, that feat has yet to be topped, and still they’re not inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Revisiting The Go-Go’s now also makes sense while nostalgia for the ’80s runs high. Realistically, The Go-Go’s probably helped fuel it – their songs featured in recent homages to the decade after all, including American Horror Story’s slasher season and Stranger Things.

Right now, the glee of LA sun, big hair and lipgloss is a welcome distraction. Plus, the anecdotes are a hoot. Take the time they were supporting The Police on tour and Beauty and the Beat left the headliner’s in chart dust. It’s nice to know that Sting dealt with it graciously (he broke the news and brought champagne to their room).

Hearing about their history with Madness and The Specials is another highlight. More fool the skinheads who spat on them on their UK tour – they came out the other side a harder, faster machine ready to climb the charts. When they returned to the US, lines of punters curled around the block to see them. The Go-Go’s had a whale of a time on tour, but hardly regarded themselves as nailing it – they just didn’t need to let anyone know on home turf.

Their former manager, Ginger Canzoneri’s, tale of hocking everything from her jewellery to her car to fund the band’s 1980 tour with The Specials, was gold. Canzoneri was exceptionally devoted to her client but the band dropped her when famed called – a decision the band later regretted.

While the film’s not all sweetness and light (in particular, examining Charlotte Caffey’s heroin addiction and Jane Wiedlin’s experience of depression) it never gets too grim either. In short, it’s a heartening paean to women who rocked, and be damned if it hasn’t prompted hours of entertainment delving deep into their back catalogue.

MIFF 68½ runs from now until Sunday August 23. Head to the festival website for tickets and the full program.

Check out the other notable music flicks screening at MIFF here

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From Sunnyboys to Dunkaroos, 20 iconic things from every Aussie millennials’ childhood

A trip down memory lane.

Let’s celebrate the days before the digital revolution, where things were far simpler and the world was less convoluted. A time where communication was bound to a landline and punters played marbles instead of Minecraft.

With Victorians now submerged by a stage four lockdown, reminiscing can be the most powerful motivator. So let’s ride the wave of nostalgia as we break down 20 iconic things from every Aussie millennials’ childhood.

1. Footy cards

Trading footy cards is where we learnt important life skills: how to negotiate and barter. The hustler mentality for Melburnians was instilled from an early age all because we knew the value of trading Nathan Buckley for Michael Voss.

2. Chocolate cake from Woolies

If it was someone’s birthday at school, it was a given this chocolatey goodness would make an appearance. That is unless your teacher shook things up by bringing in the equally-unparalleled triple-layer napoleon ice cream cake.

3. Dolly Doctor

Before there was drug and alcohol specialist Paul Dillon stopping by for a visit, Dolly Doctor was the go-to for edgy life advice. Flipping to the sealed section of Dolly magazine would connect you with many taboo topics. “I have a crush on my friend’s brother, what do I do?” read one confession. “Is it wrong to be in love with your first cousin?” utters another. Dolly Doctor confronted the unspoken truths and for that, we were endlessly thankful.

4. Harold the giraffe

Before Dolly Doctor, the dangers of drugs and alcohol were delivered by a giraffe who rolled up to schools in his van. Ok, hearing it back doesn’t make it sound so great.

5. Dunkaroos

These were fucking yum.

6. Tuck shop money

On Fridays, mum would you give you a little tuck shop allowance. Killer pythons never went astray, nor did Sherbet Bombs. If they had Warheads it was game on while strawberry Fizzers were nothing to be sneezed at.

7. Tamagotchi

Tamagotchis are like cut off jean shorts – somehow, they’re always coming back in style. This digital handheld gadget only had four or five buttons, but the technology was mind-blowing at the time. Not to mention when your Tamagotchi jumped into your friend’s screens for a pet playdate – talk about innovation.

8. Scoobies

Scoobie strings dethroned Tamagotchis when they catapulted into every child’s creative consciousness in primary school. At some point, you’d look around and see everyone making keychains, friendship bracelets and little trinkets with these mini plastic strips.

9. Adventure playgrounds

An Aussie kid’s very own mini Disneyland sporting slides, swings, monkey bars and cool hidey holes that became the perfect playing field for hide and seek.

10. Kraft string cheese

Alongside Roll-ups and Yoghurt Tops, came the calcium-boosting Kraft string cheese. While many of us peeled the cylindrical block, there was always that one maverick who chomped it whole. Rogue.

11. Filling your school hat with water on hot days

The best thing since sliced bread. On those scorching hot school days, everyone crowded the drink taps, filling their hats up with water for that 15 seconds of bliss.

12. Sunnyboys

To pair with your drenched hat, a Sunnyboy was the most refreshing treat. Were you a biter or a sucker?

13. Watching Ready Steady Cook on sick days

In between daytime talk show reruns and gargling Benzydamine, Ready Steady Cook was always there for us on sick days.

14. Double Dutch

Double Dutch was everything about nothing. To be honest, I don’t know why anyone wasted their time trying to learn this language but it sure was memorable.

15. Knowing every word to the Round the Twist theme song

Have you ever, ever felt like this?/Have strange things happened? Are you going round the twist?

16. Smiggle pens

Glitter Smiggle pens were treated like precious cargo. Like befriending a kid with a pool at home, you would always align yourself with anyone who had the Smiggle stationery kit.

17. The Gym Bus

This was a lawsuit on wheels. Who thought it was a good idea to hand over a bunch of kids to a stranger riding around a bus? Not to mention it was incredibly stuffy in that bus and whenever you were thirsty, they’d spray you with water.

18. Playing marbles

If you asked me right now what the objective of marbles is I couldn’t tell ya. Still iconic though.

19. Playing Beyblades

If you loved things that span real fast and got a bit out of control, then Beyblades were probably consuming your lunchtimes.

20. Getting to ride the tram by yourself meant you were a big kid

You were the next level of cool if you finally were able to catch public transport alone. Coupled with your slick side fringe and brand new Nokia AJ34653234523… whoops.

Keen on another fun read? Check out our piece on the eight quintessential Melbourne Instagram pages.

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Ballarat garage surf-punks Leftfield Luxury unload their pet peeves with new single, ‘Flogs’

‘Flogs’ marks Leftfield Luxury’s heaviest, yet most refined release to date.

Ballarat garage surf-punk outfit Leftfield Luxury have revealed a new single, ‘Flogs’. Taking aim at pea-brained shit-talkers, the track is unapologetic and leaves no holds barred as it rattles off a list of pet peeves.

Since forming in 2017, Leftfield Luxury have gone from strength to strength. After releasing a string of singles followed by their 2019 self-titled debut EP, the Ballarat punks quickly found a following outside their hometown.

Soon, they were playing support slots for acts like The Chats as well as performing on lineups alongside the likes of Baker Boy, Ruby Fields, Dune Rats and RAT!Hammock at the triple j All Ages Tour and Spilt Milk Festival.

Now, they’re back with their latest single ‘Flogs’, blending elements of grunge, post-punk and shoegaze in their most refined release yet.

“[Flogs] is an ode to the people we all hate. The people who rile up at the droplets of saliva that leave your mouth when you talk. The people with a peanut for a brain which only knows how to sink $12 CC’s and Cruisers at the bar,” said the band of the new single.

The single sees them exploring new sonic territory while remaining true to the sound that has garnered them a faithful following. Gutsier and heavier than anything we’ve heard from them yet, still with a youthful punk spirit at its core, Leftfield Luxury have delivered a double whammy with their latest track.

Listen to ‘Flogs’ below.

For more from Leftfield Luxury, head to their Facebook page or Spotify.  

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Video premiere: Lazertits’ punk-fuelled iso anthem ‘Self Care’ is an ode to independence

‘Self Care’ is the first glimpse of Lazertits’ forthcoming album.

Melbourne punks Lazertits are back with their first single in three years. A mantra for self-reliance that will leave you hot and heavy, ‘Self Care’ is the first taste of their long-awaited sophomore album, which is set to drop via Roolette Records on a date yet to be announced.

Masturbation is the new meditation,” opens ‘Self Care’, introducing Lazertits’ signature brand of tongue-in-cheek ‘brat punk’ right off the mark. An ode to taking care of yourself, in every sense, the single looks at the loneliness that goes hand-in-hand with self-isolation from a playful perspective that’s definitely NSFW.

Don’t need Tinder when I’ve got my fingers,” remarks guitarist Lexi Love-Dack against a wall of blistering garage-rock riffs. Hard and fast, the melody matches the rapid-fire of cheeky lyrics before reaching a climactic instrumental breakdown.

Shot in isolation and entirely self-produced, the film clip sees the four-piece carrying out various forms of self care, from home workouts to sheet masks – along with drinking lots of wine.

Fun, sassy and relatable as hell, the Lazertits we know and love are back and kicking things up a notch.

Check out the film clip for ‘Self Care’ below.

‘Self Care’ is due for release on Friday August 14. For more from Lazertits, head to their Bandcamp or Facebook page

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Eligible for grants up to $130,000, live music venues can pull themselves out of the wreckage

Applications for the Victorian Live Music Venues Program close on Thursday.

In early July, the Victorian government announced a $15 million support package for the state’s live music venues, designed to help them survive the lockdown while also aiding them with their return to business, providing employment opportunities for those who make live music happen – the artists, crew, bookers, promoters and more.

Titled the Victorian Live Music Venues Program, the initiative caters for Victorian venues with a capacity of between 50 and 1,200 people and who have a solid reputation for “presenting original live music and demonstrate best practice in business operations”, as per a statement from Creative Victoria.

The applications were originally open until August 6 but the deadline has since been extended to 5pm, August 13 to allow as many live music venues as possible to express their interest. Eligible venues could receive up to $130,000 as part of the scheme.

To help Victorian live music venues understand the application process, Music Victoria are hosting an info session at 4.30pm on Monday August 10. Moderated by Music Victoria CEO Patrick Donovan, lawyer, educator, author and journalist Andrew Watt will appear during the forum alongside Auspicious Arts Projects client manager Selene Bateman.

Creatives across the board have lost work from the venue shutdowns caused by COVID-19 and there has been a genuine risk of many live music venues closing due to the severity of the situation.

The importance of Melbourne’s live music scene is evident by the numbers: More than 17.5 million people attend a gig in Victoria in a calendar year while in 2017, it was found by Music Victoria that $1.42 billion was spent in small venues and at concerts and festivals. There are 553 active live music venues in Greater Melbourne, hosting more than 73,000 gigs per year.

Melbourne is globally recognised as a live music capital and is home to more live music venues per capita than any other city in the world.

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Music Victoria will be holding a free Live Music Venues Panel this upcoming Monday, August 10. This event is to help venue owners learn more about @creative_vic's Live Music Venues Grants and hear tips on what makes a strong application.⁠ ⁠ Grant writers will take venues through the eligibility of Creative Victoria’s Live Music Venues Grants and offer tips on telling your story and impact to the music community, as well as budgets and support letters.⁠ ⁠ Spots are limited. You can RSVP and find further info at the link in our bio. ⁠ #CreativeVic #LiveMusic #MusicVenues #MelbourneMusic #VictorianVenues

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RSVP to Music Victoria’s panel discussion here. Apply for the Victorian Live Music Venues Program here.

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Nick Cave has just launched a new web store, titled ‘Cave Things’

Dive deep into the Cave.

You could say Nick Cave has been relatively nimble during the COVID-19 period. Regularly updating his personal blog, The Red Hand Files, Cave also launched his own 24/7 live stream channel while also performing on ABC TV’s new music show, The Sound. On top of that, he’s also got his own exhibition currently being showcased in Copenhagen, Denmark, titled Stranger Than Kindness.

To top it all off, you can now buy a bunch of Nick Cave prints, apparel and other random “objects” via ‘Cave Things’, the legendary songwriter’s recently-launched personal web store.

There’s all kinds of crazy shit here – a Warren Ellis plectrum, a box of postcards, a bunch of tees, even a poster with the original lyrics to the 1988 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds song, ‘The Mercy Seat’.

Alongside the knick-knacks come a number of cheeky Cave remarks – “The terrible residue of an over-stimulated mind,” says Cave of the collection. “The drawings are evidence of a kind of ritualistic and habitual thinking, not dissimilar to the act of writing itself, actually,” Cave says of some of his prints.

With nothing else to do during the COVID-19 downturn than dig up his own archives and continually humour his own intellectualism, it appears Cave is getting a bit restless – for the benefit of music fans the world over.

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Cave Things is now open. Link in bio. @cavethingsofficial

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Get around the web store here.

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Kids At Midnight brings to mind Grimes and Eurythmics with her nostalgic, romantic pop

Kids At Midnight has just revealed her much-anticipated debut album, All I Ever Wanted Was Your Love.

The effervescent synth-pop of Kids At Midnight brings to mind Grimes or a contemporary Eurythmics. The solo project of Melbourne-based vocalist and producer, Jane Elizabeth Hanley, Kids At Midnight has just revealed her debut album – All I Ever Wanted Was Your Love standing as a whimsical expression of romance and nostalgia.

Kids At Midnight’s music has been described as “The soundtrack to a teen romance film that never existed”, and when album track, ‘Boys Like You’, featured on the hit US Netflix series, Never Have I Ever, Hanley’s dreamy, affecting pop prowess was solidified.

With Kids At Midnight’s name rapidly on the rise, the release of her debut album couldn’t come soon enough. Now, punters can bask in Kids At Midnight’s dulcet pop craft via an enchanting 11-track journey.

“After a couple of years of promising this album and life and love drama getting in the way, writing and producing these songs and then finally getting to the place I could let them go, it feels so amazing to have it ready right now,” Hanley says of the release.

“Not just to share with my new fans from my song being on Never Have I Ever, but as a slow motion rom-com running embrace to the people who’ve waited so patiently for its completion.”

Check out the lyric video for Kids At Midnight’s hit, ‘Boys Like You’, below.

Kids At Midnight’s debut album, All I Ever Wanted Was Your Love, is out now. Give it a listen here.

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Eight quintessential Melbourne Instagram pages, because we’re all in need of a laugh

These will turn any lockdown frown upside down.

While the unbearable ennui of perpetual lockdown has well and truly set in, we have to be grateful for the internet and its many gifts, especially the gift of connectedness. While the ability to communicate with anyone, anywhere from your bedroom is convenient, another thing is Instagram, and the gift of being able to squander hours of time on that endless scroll – whether that’s a good or bad thing, we’ll let you decide.

To celebrate some of the lit content local grammers are producing, we’ve pulled together the best of the best when it comes to Melbourne IG pages. When talking about the “best” of internet things, you better believe we’ll be throwing in some meme pages, but we’ve also got a couple of useful resource-led accounts to help you explore the city from your home, and keep you in the know throughout lockdown.

As a little warm up to get you in the mood, please enjoy this unerringly good guide to Melbourne, from SuperDoTheGames.

Put Bart on the Door

Once upon a time, somebody, somewhere in Melbourne, thought it would be neat to combine The Simpsons with their insightful commentary on the city’s music scene. Put Bart on the Door marries screen grabs from the culturally iconic Simpsons with an ironic gaze at Melbourne’s cultural momentum. The result is a beloved quasi-meme page which perfectly encapsulates the city’s cliches. Skyrocketing into the cultural consciousness with on-point digs at your typical music venues including The Tote, Old Bar and Yah Yah’s, the page has since been prolific in checking up on all the comings and goings of life in Melbourne.

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The content emerging from share houses who have one photographer housemate

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Melbourne Club Culture Memes

If it’s one thing Melburnians know, it’s the club culture cliche. Another thing Melburnians know is Melburnians. For this reason, the collaborative monolith that is Melbourne Club Culture Memes… just… hits… different. Whether you’re a north, south, east or west-sider, you’ve been there. We’ve all been there. We’ve experienced that complete, encompassing satisfaction of finally reaching the top of the Lounge smokers line. We’ve been on one side of the Peel Street stalemate on a Friday night – one group up at the Grace Darling and the other down at Lazerpig: Me: “Come here, it’s good.” Friend: “Nah, come to the Grace, we got a table.”

While the page has been inactive lately due to what we can only assume is a deep melancholy shrouding anything associated with the word “club”, the page exists as an all-knowing time capsule of the Melbourne-centric cliches we love to hate.

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*rsvp: interested*

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Dumb Bitch Energy

This iconic meme page slings “dumb bitch memes for wine saturated queens”, but let’s be honest, these memes are for the people. By people, we mean Melburnites. With grace, class and ingenuity, these handcrafted memes hit the spot. The page offers functional, creative memes, like a flow chart to help you figure out if you’re at a kick-ons or not, or consistently-apt iso content that’ll have you second guessing the new Rogue Monsteria you just bought as part of your new indoor plant drive.

The content is consistently good, from the pre-iso era, hitting on club and festival culture, through to this latest period of ongoing lockdown. It’s impossibly rare to find a meme page so funny, accurate and creative, let alone one from your very own backyard. What is it that makes our lives such good meme fodder?

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Can’t wait to get on the texts with a Wat doing

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Melbourne Overheard

Ah, the things people say when they think nobody’s listening. One thing to get straight – in this city, someone’s always listening, even in lockdown. Melbourne Overheard has cornered the delightful niche of exposing the wack stuff people say, in quaint, anonymous, stick figure drawings. You’ve gotta commend them for the effort.

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Overheard. 🇮🇹⚡🐷 . . . . . . . . #melbourne #overheard #melbourneoverheard #europe #lazerpig #fitzroy #cartoon #comics

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Overheard in Melb

They haven’t posted since 2018, so this page is potentially old news for you. However, if you’re missing the olde days, it’s worth a revisit. Some of these overheard moments are hilarious, and others are useful if you’ve forgotten just how annoying a city full of people can be. Simplicity is best, and the Overheard in Melb page truly pinned down some golden one-liners in its heyday. Another time capsule of what once was, this gram is less a walk down memory lane than a grating crawl through the very worst/best elements of inner-city life you might be trying to forget.

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Grill’d came to conquer 🗣 Overheard by @ameliahayle on Smith Street #overheardmelbourne #grilld #goodchipstho

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While we may be in lockdown, there’s a whole city to explore from the comfort of your very own Instagram app. Now is a great time to browse and bookmark things to do and places to see in Melbourne, and luckily we know a couple of good accounts for just that. Such as…

Do-Something?

An online resource with an app coming soon, Do-Something? seeks to highlight venues, events and special offers from various Melbourne businesses. With a pleasing interface of cute pastel sketches, the account brings you the many highlights on offer around the city, even in iso. If you’re interested in keeping your finger on the pulse, it’s certainly worth a follow.

Check out the Do-Something? website here. They’ve got an app coming out soon so keep your eyes peeled for that.

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There is a new Lasagne king in town! Just call @1800lasagne and they arrive hot at your door. ————————————————————— #dosomethingmelbourne #iso #lasagne #1800lasagne #melbourne #fastdelivery #barina #holden #visualsnack #design #art #animation #typography #lettering

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Far Out

Good Gnocchi head honcho James Eddy and celebrity chef Jack Shaw bring you Far Out, a visual guide to the best food from Melbourne’s outskirts. While you can’t head across town for a meal for the time being, the page is worth a scroll and a bookmark for the future. James and Jack not only tell you where to go for food, from Springvale to Warrandyte, they tell you which dish should be your prime choice.

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Marciano’s Cakes. 1481 Centre Road, Clayton. Get an empanada and the lemon meringue cheesecake.

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For something real dumb…

Shit Brick Fences of Melbourne

There’s nothing more to say.

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In my day we'd have lost no time painting "SIX PESTOLS" on that… Pic. Brandon Leverett

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Keen on another fun read? We’ve ranked the toilets of Melbourne dive bars, clubs and music venues from sketchy to sparkling.

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THE GAZE’s sophomore EP ‘lighter’ is an experimental dark-pop triumph

Across four tracks, THE GAZE examines the highs and lows of existing in the world today.

The collaborative music project of singer-songwriter Sam Cremean, THE GAZE, returns with his sophomore EP titled lighter.

The new release comes on the back of his acclaimed 2019 debut EP Sociable which earnt THE GAZE slots at festivals and clubs across Australia, including Midsumma Carnival, Gay Times and HONCHO DISKO, as well as international jaunts in Japan and Tokyo.

Across four tracks, lighter sees Cremean delving into his personal story of overcoming mental health issues. Opening with the meditative ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’, featuring Jay Millionaires, it’s an introspective journey of highs, lows and everything in between.

If I could love myself right now, I would,” muses THE GAZE on ‘too honest’ featuring NIK NAVY, exploring the intricacies of self-love and anxiety while the penultimate ‘distracted’ is an upbeat earworm which reaffirms that sometimes, the only answer is to put your problems aside and get stoned out of your mind.

Closer and title track ‘lighter’, featuring Yes / No / Maybe, rounds out the EP with an exclamation point, introducing moody synths with fast-paced vocals. While, sonically, it’s the darkest track on the EP, the message is of hope and finding peace.

‘I’m feeling lighter than before,” it exclaims, offering hope that your darkest moments are always temporary.

Marrying club beats with self-analysing, pensive lyrics about navigating the modern world as someone who thinks and cares too much, lighter is a collection of dancefloor-worthy tracks that dig beyond the surface level to connect and resonate with the listener.

Listen to lighter below.

For more from THE GAZE, head to his website or Spotify

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Grey Whistle Test collaborate with an Australian Ballet dancer for their mesmeric new film clip

Together with its film clip, the band’s new single ‘Terraformer’ is a multi-sensory feast.

Melbourne trio Grey Whistle Test unveiled their new single ‘Terraformer’ today. A transcendent, textural piece of music that prevails genre or category, the single draws from a range of sounds spanning ambient synth-pop to gritty post-folk.

‘Terraformer’ explores universal issues like climate anxiety and mental health issues through a tapestry of metaphors, set against a backdrop of undulating percussive rhythms and swells of synth and tied together with vocalist Max Stanley’s intoxicating falsetto.

Matching the ethereal and evocative appeal of the track, the film clip for ‘Terraformer’ features Australian Ballet soloist Jill Ogai whose mesmeric movements mimic the intimate yet otherworldly energy of the single.

The single gives a taste of the band’s forthcoming EP Like a Sunset, but Spinning, due for release later this year. A visual and aural feast, ‘Terraformer’ is yet another promising glimpse of a band you’ll want to keep a close eye on.

Check out the film clip for ‘Terraformer’ below.

For more from Grey Whistle Test, check out their Bandcamp or Facebook page

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