Clair De Lune

I remember sitting alone in my backyard on 26 January 2013 listening to the Hottest 100 and thinking how disappointed I was. Not because of the music, or the weather or anything remotely similar, but because this was my favourite day of the year and my long-term partner and father of my kids didn’t want to join me to celebrate the music or Australia Day which it also was. This was not what I had envisaged of this day, of my life.

The #17 song then aired. I didn’t know what it was, but I was instantly drawn to its hauntingly beautiful sound. It captured my feelings perfectly at that precise moment, transported me to another time and place and allowed me to enter a new world ever so briefly. And then, I forgot about it.

Fast forward approximately four or five months later. I’m now single, living with my two young children and mistakenly in a good head space. By this stage I had discovered what this song was ~ Clair De Lune by Flight Facilities ~ and I decided to watch the film clip which I had never previously seen. I was in tears before I had seen all 7 + minutes of it. I was overcome with so much emotion for a multitude of different reasons that I wasn’t able to contain myself. Then I watched it on repeat for the better part of an hour.

The clip, which shows 2 females out one night and the events that transpire, reminded me of a friend of mine from high school, Carlie. Carlie and I knew each other since we were 13 and 12 years old respectively. We remained good friends all through uni and then just drifted apart as sometimes happens. When we were in our late teens/early twenties we would often go out without the rest of our group because we had similar interests and thought processes that the others didn’t. Carlie and I were always on the same page with everything and this brought us closer together. When I saw Clair De Lune it instantly reminded me of Carlie and our nights out together. It generated some wonderful memories which in turn made me think about where my life was currently. The lyrics, so short and simple, meant so much given what had occurred in my personal life in the years prior. Then the sadness of what the girls do in the clip and the impact of the final scene simply tipped me over the edge.

And it continued to do so for over 18 months after that day.

The song made it onto my Listen At Own Risk playlist for that reason. It was a very special song to me, it still is and always will be, but now I’m able to listen to it and smile appreciating it for its pure ethereal beauty instead of being saddened by it.

The film clip still makes me cry though.

‘If I would know you, would you know me.

Don’t go, tell me that the lights won’t change,
Tell me that you’ll feel the same, and we’ll stay here forever,
Don’t go, tell me that the lights won’t change,
Tell me that it’ll stay the same,
Where we go, where we,
Where we go, where we go,
Where we go, where we go, where we go.’

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Week 4 Reading

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Row 1 – Flowers, Whip and Tree.

Happiness, quarrels and growth. The Flowers and the Tree both override negative cards such as the whip. So whilst strife and quarrels may be on the cards they will not be of a serious nature.

Row 2 – Bear, Heart and Child.

Something big, strong or bold, love and children can be interpreted a few different ways. The love of my children is strong or I may be about to experience an important love affair.

Row 3 – Snake, House and Lily.

Due to positive surrounding cards the snake may be taken as my wisdom guiding me through any negative situations. Effectively, silence is golden. The Bear and Lily in combination again as it has been previously is suggestive of a business opportunity relating to property or, more likely, my working from home.

Column 1 – Flowers, Bear and Snake

Happiness, and lots of it, will arrive shortly, but it may require some wisdom on my part to achieve it.

Column 2 – Whip, Heart and House.

Quarrels with a loved one in my home.

Column 3 – Tree, Child and Lily.

Simply put, the continual growth of a child professionally. I am currently in a new role at work, thus it can be said it’s in its infancy. Possibly this means I’ll be remaining in this role enabling me to grow professionally.

Diagonal 1 – Flowers, Heart and Lily.

The Heart and the Lily in combination mean a love in the office. Add the flowers and apparently this is a very happy love.

Diagonal 2 – Tree, Heart and Snake.

The Heart and Snake combined suggest my love is being deceitful. I’m single so this is curious. The Tree is growth, a state of affairs still growing.

Summary

This is quite an odd collection of cards where it appears the positive do override the two negative.

In a nutshell happiness rules which is wonderful. I can confirm this to be true as I am genuinely happy, and have been for a short while.

Love, possibly an office love and an important love is in its infancy (I have no idea what this is about that’s how infant it is; it’s foetal!) is occurring and there is another mention of my work both current and maybe future in terms of working from home.

Quarrels or strife may be on the cards, but they are not of a serious nature and I may be being deceived by someone although my wisdom will see the situation resolve.

Hottest 100 Wrap Up

The triple j Hottest 100 aired today amidst some controversy on whether or not Taylor Swift would place with one of her songs I don’t really care about. From the onset Lewi McKirdy confirmed she has been disqualified. And rightfully so in my opinion. I firmly believe if your song generated no airplay on triple j at all you shouldn’t be eligible for the countdown. Allowing Taylor Swift a place in the countdown would have changed the Hottest 100 forever. It would have opened the door to all commercial/mainstream artists in future countdowns subsequently altering the demographic of voters and listeners. As it is, this is already occurring to a certain degree, anymore would be the end of the Hottest 100 as we currently know it.

It was announced that had Taylor Swift’s votes counted, her song, the one I don’t know the name of, would have reached #12. Given the campaign to get her into the countdown commenced less than a week before voting closed this is an astronomical achievement and proves my point. Kudos to triple j for not allowing this to transpire and for keeping the Hottest 100 true to what it’s created for.

A recap on my votes:

Velociraptor – Sneakers

Roland Tings – Floating on a Salt Lake

Holy Holy – House of Cards

alt-J – Every Other Freckle

Golden Features – Tell Me (featuring Nicole Millar)

The War on Drugs – Red Eyes

Chet Faker – 1998

Dustin Tebbutt – Bones

Asgeir – King and Cross

First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining

Five of these made the countdown:

alt-J #14

Chet Faker #8

Asgeir #10

First Aid Kit #38

The War on Drugs #63

Wild Mood Swings

no obligation

 

 

After a bad end to 2014, 2015 thus far, is shaping up to be a wonderful year. Almost all sources of negativity have been vanquished from my life and while they were painful at the time of said vanquishing I now recognise that I am significantly better off.

I’m somebody who has undergone massive personal changes in the last two years. As a result. just to sound clichéd, I have had to rediscover myself. It hasn’t been easy and I find that I occasionally slip back into the same patterns. The rational part of me can identify when this is occurring yet the irrational part of me doesn’t care and has a tendency to dive in head first despite knowing what the outcome will be. This was my key issue in 2014, irrational me dictated.

So with rational me leading the way I’ve been smiling since 5 January. That is, until today.

Irrational me decided to rear her ugly head and I’m not entirely sure why it snowballed to my being in a foul mood for the majority of the day. It began with a gentle reminder of ghosts past, nothing direct and all quite insignificant, yet I decided to blow it up to mammoth proportions and over think it all day. Subsequently the negativity grew within. Past issues resurfaced and festered causing me to question everything I had already come to accept.

It was just shit.

I know better than to allow this to happen. Again.

Slowly, but surely, after much physical and mental exertion over countless hours, okay about twelve, rational me began peering out from behind the clouds. She hasn’t emerged entirely yet, but she is on her way. Until the next emotional Brain Fart anyway.

 

Woman sails

 

Wanderlust

Recently I stumbled upon a movie review I wrote for AMH Network a few years ago, but never submitted for consideration. I’m not sure why I didn’t since it was a completed review, but I’m confident I had a semi-clear thought process behind not. Ish…

wanderlust-featured

Wanderlust (2012)

I hate romantic comedies. I’m all for romance and comedy, but not together at the same time. Give me your True Romance (1993) type of romance over your Sleepless in Seattle (1993) any day.  I also dislike many actors who have made romantic comedies their preferred genre such as Jennifer Aniston. So when I sat down to watch Wanderlust starring the aforementioned and Paul Rudd I wasn’t holding my breath. In fact I expected to fall asleep half way through it.

Wanderlust opened in Australian cinema’s in late April 2012. It is no longer showing anywhere and hasn’t been given DVD release in Australia yet. Given the lack of information relating to box office takings and my general lack of knowledge about the movie I will hazard a guess and say it didn’t do too well.

Directed by David Wain it is the story of George (Rudd) and Linda (Aniston) who are forced to move to Atlanta, Georgia from New York after both of their jobs/business ventures fail. During the lengthy journey to Atlanta they decide to stop over at Bed and Breakfast Elysium. The result is one of the best nights of their lives as they realise Elysium is in fact a hippie commune. Nevertheless they continue on to Atlanta to live with George’s brother Rick (Ken Marino) and his wife Marissa (Michaela Watkins). When things don’t go to plan, George and Linda end up back at Elysium for a 2 week trial period.

Almost immediately it is apparent that this film is funny. There are so many laugh out loud moments that they almost come as a surprise. David Wain and Ken Marino have created a script that is not only original, but one that depicts such strange and unusual events that you can’t help but laugh at the utter ridiculousness yet believability of them. For example when George and Linda first arrive at Elysium in the middle of the night and are greeted by nudist Wayne (Joe Lo Truglio), the full frontal male nudity, which is a common theme in the film, is surprising and possibly shocking to some. However, George’s reaction of total shock and disbelief resulting in his reversing the car he is driving in such a wayward manner that he literally rolls it. The scene was depicted almost flawlessly when it easily could have been overstated subsequently resulting in the scene being stripped of its humour.

Adding to the wonderful script is a delightfully comedic cast including veteran Alan Alda, Justin Theroux, Malin Akerman, Kathryn Hahn and Lauren Ambrose among others. Not only are the main cast lucky enough to be the recipients of sensational scenes and lines but so are the cameo cast. Zandy Hartig as Marcy the bitchy, pregnant HBO executive who believes we should “fuck the penguins” is simply spectacular as is her offsider Keegan Michael Key who agrees with every word Marcy utters. Michaela Watkins as Marissa the heavily intoxicated wife of Rick is similarly impressive in her small role. For the majority of her scenes Marissa is drunk, possibly drugged, vague and vacuous. Although hilarious, her overall purpose can be questioned. This questionability is all but forgotten in her final scene when she proclaims with total clarity (while drinking a margarita) her knowledge of her husband’s multiple affairs. The brilliance of this scene is its unpredictability. Marissa’s reaction is such a surprise that it is impossible not to laugh.

The only let down of the film is the romance element. While Wanderlust is about how George and Linda’s marriage stands the test of anything, including consensual infidelity, the soppiness of that storyline, albeit minor, does not blend with the remainder of the film. Having said that, Aniston does pull off one of her great performances ala Horrible Bosses (2011) and Office Space (1999) that we know she is capable of, but seldom delivers. Aniston and Rudd do have a genuine on-screen charisma however, Rudd’s performance is hardly a stand out.

I was pleasantly surprised by Wanderlust. In fact, I liked it.

4 / 5

Groovin’ The Moo 2014

With the 2015 Groovin’ The Moo line up announcement just six days away I take you back to its inaugural show in Oakbank, South Australia which I had the pleasure of covering for AMH Network…

GTM

Groovin’ The Moo 2014 – Oakbank

Commencing in 2005, Australia’s only regional touring festival, Groovin’ The Moo (GTM) continued its expansion by including a new destination in 2014 – Oakbank, South Australia. And the people of South Australia welcomed GTM with welcome arms by selling out 48 hours prior to doors opening thus proving music festivals can sell out in the Festival State given the right circumstances.

With tickets selling for $99 plus booking fee, a price considered a bargain compared to all other Australian touring festivals, the circumstances initially looking right.

A good festival, a festival worthy of the price you pay for the ticket, is created by a myriad of elements, the primary one being the music. Having been established 9 years ago there is no flawing the music of GTM. The line up includes many artists and covers many genres.

Joining the Australian headliners The Presets were UK artists Dizzee Rascal and Disclosure and more than a handful of others stemming from Australia, USA, UK, New Zealand and Canada encompassing hip hop, dance, pop, alternative and metal genres, just to name a few.

Spread over 3 stages, Moolin Rouge and the Udder stage which itself was split into 2 side by side stages, there was no rhyme nor reason as to who played on what stage beyond the DJ’s being delegated the Moolin Rouge tent.

My day started later than expected with the final few songs of Kingswood’s set. The four piece from Melbourne produced a solid performance leaving me disappointed I did not get a chance to see their whole set. At its conclusion I moseyed on over to the Moolin Rouge tent to catch the end of Melbourne rapper Allday, but he too had finished. Lindsay ‘The Doctor’ McDougall from triple j was DJing as the afternoon host. This was the only time for the remainder of the festival that there was no live music playing at any given time.

Next on the bill was either Loon Lake under the tent or The Jungle Giants on the main stage. It was the crew from Brisbane who won out. Playing all the hits from their self titled debut EP, second EP She’s a Riot and their debut album Learn to Exist, their indie pop rock sound had the enthusiastic crowd bopping around and singing to their heart’s content. The performance was raw, uncomplicated and fun to watch.

Melbourne hip-hop artist Illy followed The Jungle Giants on the Udder Stage. He dropped hit after hit after hit including his triple j Like a Version AusMusic Month Medley and had the crowd on their feet the entire time creating a giant mosh pit in front of the stage. His was by far the loudest performance of the festival with the reverberation being felt through the ground over 200 metres away by the bars. My only disappointment with Illy, and a minor one at that, was that instead of having a female member of another band playing in the festival stand in for Owl Eyes in It Can Wait a recording was used. A missed opportunity.

As Melbourne singer-songwriter Vance Joy was due to come on the Udder Stage after Illy I headed back to Moolin Rouge to watch Byron Bay’s Parkway Drive. Walking up to the tent five minutes before they were due on stage all that could be seen was a sea of bodies. There were more people surrounding that stage then what the tent allowed. As the boys walked out on stage the roar of the crowd was deafening. It was simply a phenomenal experience as was the performance. Having never seen Parkway Drive live before, I was in a state of awe. Their stage presence was immense. Their crowd interaction served to enhance the excitement and their music was flawless. I left that stage only wondering why they were not performing on the main stage and Vance Joy was?

After an extended food and toilet break it was back down to the Udder Stage to see the well established indie popness of Architecture in Helsinki (AIH) against the backdrop of a grey sunset. The colourful and utterly delightful sounds of AIH were the perfect contrast for the bleakness of the day. Having landed the mid-point 5:30pm slot which usually sees people wanting to slow down and recoup before the night sets commence, AIH would not allow that to happen. In fact, it was impossible to sit still to them. While Thundamentals generated a huge crowd in the tent, AIH pulled a bigger crowd, one of the biggest of the night. It seemed as if everyone was up and dancing and singing to their gorgeous pop tunes from Hold Music and Contact High to their current single Dream a Little Crazy.

Highlighting the eclectic nature of GTM and the perfectly smooth and acceptable transition between pop and progressive rock, Karnivool was next on the list and another first for me. Being familiar with, and also no longer a fan of Ian Kenny’s other band, Birds of Tokyo I was quite excited to see what Karnivool had to offer and disappoint they did not. Their heavier, angsty rock sound paired with the impressive audio-visual backdrop created a solid and impeccable performance.

Still on the Udder Stage, New Zealand’s The Naked and Famous followed Karnivool having returned to Australian shores after their Big Day Out performances earlier in the year.  With them they brought the first droplets of rain that had threatened to fall all day. Their set was virtually the same as it was at the Big Day Out so to those who had seen them 3 months earlier like I had it was all a bit repetitive. The Naked and Famous are an odd band with specific reference to their style. Their live performances are completely flawless each and every time so they cannot be faulted in that regard. However, their singles, the songs that they are most known for such as Punching In A Dream and Hearts Like Ours all sound similar, while their lesser known songs almost appear to be from an entirely different genre. Without taking any credit away from them, I found them to be boring.

Sydney four piece The Jezabels were next on the Udder Stage. In their 45 minute set they packed in all their singles from both of their albums pleasing the large crowd that had gathered to see them. At this stage of the night, knowing the headliners were still to come, a lot of people remained seated on the hill overlooking the stage. The rain also decided to pick up in strength slightly.

A lot of people had gathered around the main stages by the conclusion of The Jezabels set in preparation for Dizzee Rascal. Rascal who had previously cancelled his 3 side shows in the eastern states came out 5 minutes later and simply blew everyone away. Generating the largest crowd of the evening thus far he also produced the biggest and most high energy performance of the night. Performing all his hits including Dance Wiv Me, Bonkers, Holiday, Bang Bang and You’ve Got the Dirtee Love with a recording of Florence + the Machine Rascal did not stop giving 100% even for a second. The crowd fed off of his performance and he in turn fed off them. It was a mutual showing of appreciation, amazing to watch and be a part of. Despite the rain, which was pouring down at this stage, the majority of the crowd stayed until the end of Rascal’s set in a testament to the man’s talent.

Over in Moolin Rouge, while Rascal was tearing it up on the main stage, was the duo from Sydney, What So Not. Consisting of Emoh Instead and Harley Strenton (Flume), What So Not had created a mini undercover nightclub as the rain poured down outside. The prelude to the final act of the night Disclosure, What So Not had the tent packed to the rim; a mass of sweating bodies, oblivious to what was happening beyond their dance infused world. Even when Rascal’s set had finished the majority of the people flocked to What So Not leaving the remaining half to witness The Presets close the Udder stage.

With such a huge backlog of tracks, Sydney electronic duo and GTM veterans The Presets were sure to create a sensational performance for fans. This they did. Starting off modestly with some of their ‘slower’ tracks for lack of a better word the set then picked up with the old school techno sounding Youth in Trouble. Whether it was due to the weather or the fact Disclosure was following What So Not in Moolin Rouge, The Presets did not generate a festival closing sized crowd. This was disappointing to see considering they put on a stellar performance as has come to be expected from them.

Overall, the music element of GTM was simply A class. All the acts gave 100% and produced immaculate performances. The dual main stage set up was also a stroke of genius for it allowed a smooth transition between acts with minimal waiting time especially towards the latter stages of the event when the bigger acts performed. My only criticism would be the distraction from the sound and lighting checks that were occurring on one side of the Udder Stage while an act was performing on the other. Whilst this is unavoidable given the set up, it did serve as a minor negative to an otherwise exceptional element of the festival.

Beyond the music a festival also consists of the venue and the overall set up of it. Given it was an inaugural event in Oakbank, a few teething problems were to be expected. Unfortunately, there were more than a few.

Oakbank Racecourse is located in the Adelaide Hills meaning there are only 2 different directions one can arrive to the town. I chose the quieter of the 2. In retrospect, I do not know if this was the best option. What would normally be a 45 minute drive to Oakbank turned into a 90 minute drive with bumper to bumper traffic on a one lane each direction road for the last 10 kilometres. This is why I was late and missed a myriad of bands and artists I had hoped to see. Note to self and others for future GTM festivals at Oakbank: leave earlier.

The racecourse grounds are quite large, however a big chunk was cordoned off for parking. This was great in one respect as there was free venue parking spitting distance to the venue. The downside was that the festival venue itself was subsequently quite small. The 2 stages were approximately 100 meters away from each other so there was a distinct clash of sounds if you were situated directly in between them. Then again, walking distances were short, but given it was a sold out event there were people absolutely everywhere. It was impossible to not run into someone when you walked anywhere.

Another downside to the small venue size was that there was limited food and drink’s areas. While the drink lines moved quickly, despite the use of the frustrating ticket method of purchase, the food lines did not, nor did the toilet lines. At the conclusion of Parkway Drive’s set I made the decision to get food. I waited in the line, and waited, and waited and finally received my hot chips only to realise I had missed Violent Soho and Cults. The level of frustration this generated from not just me was enormous.

Staging a festival at the end of April/start of May generally rules out any abnormally hot weather, but it does not rule out wet weather. While the onus is on the punter to prepare for this by wearing appropriate clothing some of the onus must also fall on the promoters in providing some shaded areas as a form of protection. Other than the Moulin Rouge tent which was packed to the rim 100% of the time and some marquees left up by departed food vans and carts late in the night, there was nothing on offer.

The extent of the teething problems could not be predicted until the festival concluded and on the whole they were not too bad. After all, long lines and weather are the bane of any festival goer’s experience and they certainly did not and do not detract from the music.

Overall Groovin The Moo at Oakbank was a total success. South Australians, and even interstaters as I found out throughout the course of the day, stepped up to the plate on Anzac Day. There was an eclectic mix of people of all ages who came to enjoy the show and enjoy it they definitely did.

Groovin The Moo continued in Maitland on 26 April then moves onto Canberra on 27 April, a sold out Bendigo on 3 May, Townsville on 4 May and concludes in Bunbury on 10 May.

4 / 5

 

Ghosts

...ran amok in a strip called love,

Lost my mind in the streets of neon…

Oh we had a merry old-time, but merry old times don’t count for nothing…

Memories blur and they make me shudder…

Help me up move right, left foot forward.

~ The Presets ~