A menagerie of musical, personal and cultural interests

UNDERRATED MUSIC MONDAY

ADAM AND NAIVE

Download, bathe in and drool over their entire discography for free at the Practice Room Records website

Adam and Naive, besides the incredibly witty name (go on, say it out loud), somehow have this fantastic grapple on their sound. It could be the ephemeral phrases paired with the exasperated vocals; the twinkles and twangs of the carefully orchestrated guitar tunes, or even the way their sound seems to innately have millions of tiny thoughts embedded into each and every instrumental line. The result is this complex orchestration, one that goes much deeper than a typical “band” structure.

The standout album for me in particular, is “Every Starry Night”, what with its encouraging dreaminess, delicate riffs and literary tact lyrics.

I think what I like most about Adam and Naive, is that I haven’t heard a band like them. One that focuses on the little complexities rather than the images outlined in the “bigger picture”. And it’s definitely refreshing to see a band generating output that’s really something they do because they’re passionate above anything else.

Well this is what a slightly agitated female with access to the internet would do in a situation like this right?

Last night I accompanied one of my girlfriends to the Australian Brewery in Annangrove or Rouse Hill or wherever the hell it is, which at this point is really not too relevant. I’d been to the Brewery before a couple of times, accompanying friends, and whilst I’ll admit it’s really not my thing, it’s usually a pretty fun night. Considering it was a Playboy themed night, we were anticipating it to be quite a while until we would make it to the front of the line to actually get into the venue, and by the time we joined the line at 8pm, we were ultimately out onto the road with a mile to trudge.

I feel it necessary to now point out that at the time, I was wearing high wasted jeans, a cropped t-shirt, a denim jacket and platform shoes, so in other words, showing not too much skin. My friend was wearing a jumper, shorts and wedge high-heels. Again, nothing too revealing.

So, this is where I think, it gets particularly interesting. The line was moving considerably. Not at a fast pace, but fast enough to keep everyone satisfied. By the looks of the place, it was over capacity by 8.30pm. So like (presumably) everyone else, we were waiting in the line, getting kind of shitty, but what could we do? So we continued to wait. And a pattern began to emerge. Groups of girls for about 15 minutes at a time walked straight past the line, around the corner and into the joint. The pattern? Their lack of clothing and/or (in most cases “and”) their somewhat skimpy playboy “costumes”. Now I have no problem with this. Women can do what they want, dress how they like, it’s their life, they have a choice. However I feel it extremely necessary to point out the real misogyny here.

I’ll even bold this because I think this is actually really disgusting.

Women were being hand picked and selected from the crowd to be given immediate entry into the premises.

Now the only problem with this, is that the people who were hand-picking them, were 9 times out of 10, sleazy MALE security guards who accepted any form of cheap flirts and sultry glances that were cast their way. But only if they were from a skinny girl in a tight dress.


And I really think this is a problem. Because in a world where women are trying to find empowerment in places that men can’t and find their own place within equality, we are still being belittled and reduced to be judged for our looks and the way we present ourselves.

My friend and I waited in that line for an hour and a half. It was not until we snuck in with a group of these girls at 9.30 that we actually made it inside. We witnessed groups and groups of probably hundreds of girls all up being escorted to the front of the line, and not once were we addressed for being female. I even politely asked a security guard how much longer he thought we would be waiting outside, to be given an utterly blank look and then to be blatantly ignored.

But, like those girls, we still paid $20 entry. Like those girls, my friend bought a drink. Regardless of who you are, money is money, and for a business, does it matter so much what stereotype of women you have enjoying your facilities? Because at the end of the day, we all pay to get in. We all pay to have our drinks. We all pay with the same money regardless of our looks, gender, ethnicity, background, beliefs, amount of clothes we choose to wear, and everything else that somehow stereotypes women to be different.

I must say I was extremely disappointed in the way this was approached, and it’s sad to see a place that thrives off of the youth of Western/North-Western Sydney sink to such extreme lows. I felt that this compromised the reputation that the Brewery had (for me and my friend at least) and I think it’s disappointing to see such old-world and constraining views being placed upon groups of young adults.

Moments

The sun was beyond its expiry, retiring neatly behind the horizon. The very edge itself was paved with tiny wisps of clouds that lessened as they approached the vanishing point, like a road folding in on itself miles ahead. The glow cast an ambient throw over the water’s top as we passed over the expansive harbour, creating a shimmering yellow brick road for us to follow. The wrinkled ripples from way above looked like the tiny thoughtful creases one forges on their forehead through years of pain, love and laughter. The city lights dotted like tiny fireflies amongst the deep black snake of the winding streets blinked feverishly in the approaching night. I cherish moments like these in particular. I feel as though I’ve seen the soul of a person that could change things for me. Make me see the ways of the world and the ways of my own self. 

Talking Backwards // REAL ESTATE

Hooooly fuck this album is going to be amazing. Days was mellow, but the forthcoming LP Atlas, if we’re basing it off of this track, will be a whole different ballgame. With a refined sound, much unlike what we have heard before, combined with the ever-smooth tones and sounds that emerged from Days, Real Estate have penned a new sound that feels a lot more crisp and together. Ah penning in my diary the release of Atlas, this will be incredible

novvice:

Palms posted my article, so it must be okay.
Dubbed them as an artist to watch for 2014

http://www.purplesneakers.com.au/2014/01/artists-watch-2014-palms/

(Source: jivves)

A year in summary

2013 emerged as a kind of wildcard year. That big question mark in the grand scheme of things. It was a year that would be good, but only if I made it so. The power was only in my hands to do what I wanted to do.

Things that I learned over the course of the year:

  1. Not everyone will be there for you. People you think will stick by you through anything, may not necessarily be the best fit for the kind of life you are willing to live.
  2. Letting go may be the best thing you can ever do.
  3. You get out of life what you put in. Making a small difference in someone else’s life is the most rewarding thing you can experience.
  4. Be positive. Negativity only saps on your hard work and friendly aura. Spread love and joy to those around you, and you’ll receive it back.
  5. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes. We all need time to ourselves to do something that we want to do. Go ahead, say no every once in a while; go out and buy that book you’ve been eyeing off, or buy 3 chocolate bars instead of 1. It’s the little things in our day that contribute to the grand scheme of things.
  6. Keep in touch with everyone that makes you happy. This does require a substantial amount of effort, but it is worth every decision you will ever make. We are bound to others, and we always have been.
  7. Trying your hardest may lead to disappointment, but you can never say that you didn’t put in your all.
  8. Rewards come in the weirdest of forms. Those that we expect, those that are unexpected and those that sweep us right off of our feet.
  9. Take the plunge, you’ll feel like a new person afterwards. It’s okay to be outside of your comfort zone, this is how we grow as people.
  10. Writing lists, keeping journals, printing pictures and making visual diaries will help your organisational skills, as well as giving you an emotional outlet for creativity and personality.

This year served as a struggle for me, in most regards. My family has been through some of our toughest times in the past year, and it has only gotten worse. There have been times when we’ve been backed so far into a wall, the only thing we thought was left, was to suffocate. But there is always a beacon of light.

The HSC this year didn’t quite go as planned, and it set me back quite a bit emotionally and in terms of my own self-esteem. I’ve been lucky enough to surround myself with incredible people that have all helped in supporting me through this time, and I’ve never felt better as a person.

I spent the last year questioning who I am, and what it would take to figure out who I am. But I think I know now. I’m Caitlin Medcalf. I like music, and I like to write. More often than not I say more than is necessary, but my heart is in the right place. I’ll put in 110% at all times, and I believe I have a strong work ethic. I get lazy, but I’m a product of the 21st century, what can I do. I try to do the best by everyone else, but I’m starting to learn that this shouldn’t be the case.

New Years resolutions (straight from my diary):

  1. Go for runs (and enjoy it)
  2. Go to more concerts (and enjoy them)
  3. Keep the friends I have now - yes this requires effort
  4. Write (and enjoy it)
  5. See the positives - will increase quality of life
  6. Do things for me rather than anyone else - it’s okay to be selfish
  7. Others don’t need to be impressed - hold your head high and don’t look for anyone’s approval

We all find our potential in weird places, but it’s what we invest this potential into that makes us who we are.

Happy new year everybody.

Bleeding Portraits (2013)

I received 42/50 for my Extension 2 English Major Work. I have debated with myself for the past 5 or so months about whether I would eventually share this with anyone beyond the few I showed in the first stages of drafting. I have come to realise that I really do want to write, and I feel I have the passion and willingness to do so, which is why I’ve decided to take the plunge and share with you all my major work. I do feel quite vulnerable in sharing this, as this kind of exposes some of the things I particularly like to explore in my own personal writing, and is not something that I usually share. I have attached my reflection statement after the story to show my influences and motives behind some of the work. I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed writing this.

Noise-punk-surf-rock collective Fidlar, debut their “get shit done” sound and attitude with their bratty self-titled LP. Opening with the hauntingly ferocious Cheap Beer, the album’s fast-paced tone is there from the outset.  No Waves and Stoked and Broke, lyrically, sit side by side, with great scathings of friends/family, a shit tonne of drug references and some refreshingly heavy riffs there to push this “get shit done” persuasion onwards. Max Can’t Surf, 5 to 9 and Wake Bake Skate are representative of an anecdotal “short and sweet” kind of phrase, rather than an entire track. But it is still this manner of carelessness and pure “making this music for the sake of making it” that rings true, particularly in these tracks. Fidlar ultimately, are successful at making some pretty dirty music that you’ll definitely want to keep getting your hands filthy over.

imageWhat an album. Really. I think this is probably the most underrated album of the year, maybe even the decade (so far). If it wasn’t clear on their self-titled debut, it sure as hell is clear now, that Brisbane radicals Violent Soho mean business. Hungry Ghost features more of a mellowed tone, one of experience. Album highlight Covered in Chrome excites the Muscle Junkie in all of us, with bouts of “fuck yeah’s” and great one liners. Okay Cathedral, Saramona Says and Hungry Ghost all take the road less traveled by the punk veterans, and expose a toned down, and stripped back version of what Violent Soho have to offer. All lyrics aside, it is so obvious that the album and the ideas behind the album have been tailored to fit the music, and this really aids in getting the album across as such an honest piece of work.

10/10

image

Mega-talented, mega-babe Jake Bugg sees his second release confuse the hell out of fans. The real questions are, how can someone at only 19, be a) such an accomplished musician, what with two incredibly accomplished LP’s under his belt and b) create music that honestly seems way beyond his years. A credit to Bugg, this fusion of blues with modern indie-folk-rock works favourably to his advantage. Equipped with what has been described as a “Bob Dylan-esque” voice, Bugg, paired with his acoustic talents, has created this bluegrass whirlwind of the ultimate confusion of genres, but still is nothing short of stunning, lyrically and musically. Highlights in particular occur with the verse-to-chorus transition in Messed Up Kids, the wild west-esque Slumville Sunrise and the entirety of Me and You.

10/10