Monday, 16 March 2009

Five records, three magazines, two shoes and twelve buckets of coffee

Friday morning I burst out of The Peach in my Eyeore pyjamas and started off down the street, I passed five houses, one postman and two dog walkers before I realised that I was not adequately attired for walking up King St. When I reemerged from The Peach, properly attired but still pulling on one shoe, I broke into an excited little trot and jogged my way to the post office. One benefit of regular exercise is the ability to fetch mail rapidly. I'd been waiting on a parcel containing a brand new as yet unreleased album. I don't know how in the fuck I got lucky enough to be a person that sometimes gets handed, or posted, a top secret brand new album but I'm so grateful I could puke and as everyone knows that is the highest level of being grateful. The downside is of course the top secret nature of a top secret unreleased album, the secret is to pretend that I am a spy because spies are good at keeping secrets. It is important to note that in addition to keeping secrets spies are very good at wearing tuxedos under wetsuits.

Sunday evening I wore my wedding dress, a dress that I wear to other people's weddings not my own weddings, and set out to hear some sound art. Bohemian Grove is, I suspect, somebody's lounge room on weekdays and a venue on Sunday nights. There's a door that opens onto a backstreet in Surry Hills, several flights of boring stairs and then one large concrete room with a few lounges round the edges and milk crates topped with cushions in the middle. I found a high swivel stool behind a lounge and sat happily swivelling through three sets. The first set was almost boring, it sounded like rain and comfort and bleeping coordinated through a laptop. The second set by Jon Hunter was aggressive and at times a little like watching a man play computer games from behind the television this is not to say I did not enjoy it. The third set was transcendental. Peter Newman is an astonishing artist, sitting through one of his performances should be mandatory. I don't how he does it, I can tell you that he uses a projector, speakers and a laptop but that doesn't really help convey the experience. Newman's work work can be challenging because it feels like human emotion made tangible then amplified to the point of overwhelming. I don't whether to sweat, sob, or burst forth with songs of joy.

Last night I waddled along to Panguin Plays Rough, a monthly writers' night on King St put on by Pip Smith, Elly King and their big red velvet chair. I met a woman named Mike who was there scouting for talent. Her hair was long and mermaidy, she was wearing a fine set of boots and wrote notes with an elegant pen. I never know what's going to happen at Penguin, Pip and Elly have somehow reversed the polarities and instead of there being one or two redeeming parts of an otherwise dire night there are only one or two pieces that I don't thoroughly enjoy and the rest is excellent. There is no better place in Sydney to hear writers read their work, that and the shop downstairs sells Dr Pepper cherry vanilla flavour which is grand but makes me feel odd precisely three hours after drinking it, that might be why they don't generally sell it in Australia.


To read a review of Peter Newman's most recent DVD Paperhouse click here.
To find out more about Penguin Plays Rough search for it in events on Fspazbook.

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