Appetite for distraction

Axl Rose

Axl Rose ranting at a concert


If you’ve been to as many concerts as I have – and even if you’ve been to a darn sight fewer – you know the feeling.

It’s the big night. You and Suzo have scored two tickets to the show, the room’s packed, you struggle through the support acts and finally out comes Steaming Hot Music Idol #1 and their drummer goons. Suzo shouts something inaudible at you over the roar of the crowd, and you shoot back an idiot grin. It’s going to be great!

Except it’s not. Halfway through the set, disaster strikes. Steaming Hot Music Idol #1 loses their riff, fumbles around a bit, then yells at the audience before stalking off stage, muttering obscenities. The drummer goons are left levering their sunglasses like 90s surfer bros and trading quizzical eyebrows with a discontented crowd.

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Look, audiences are important – without them, there’s no show at all – but sometimes the musician-crowd dynamic can go wrong. Terribly, terribly wrong. There’s even an entire reddit thread cataloguing people’s worst concert behaviour stories – half of them featuring repeat offender Axl Rose for whatever reason.

Who knows what goes wrong in these moments? Does the crowd psyche out the musician? Does the musician piss off the crowd? Whatever way you slice it, things happen. As Austin Powers said, it’s not my bag, baby.

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Do you have any stories of your most memorable concerts, good or bad? Text ‘em in on 0411 111 112 or call up! All this week, White Dude and Broski will be recounting YOUR worst and best concert memories on Breakfasts and rating them!

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[Podcast] Storytelling podcast “Tales from Spasming Hill” is out!

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It’s been a while again, friends, but I’m here with the really super duper exciting news that “Tales from Spasming Hill”, my new absurdist storytelling podcast, has been released! After three months of work including writing, recording, lots and lots of hours of editing, and a whole heap of fun, we have released the first episode “Dungeoncrawl”.

This will be an ongoing series with lots of twists and turns and awesome plot arcs, so stay tuned for future episodes too!

I’ve embedded it below but you can listen to it on iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, and just about any other podcasting application you can think of. Head to our website to find out how!

[Announcement] Podcast: Tales from Spasming Hill launching soon!

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I am excited to announce that my new podcast, Tales from Spasming Hill, will be launching very soon. We’re aiming for launch on Monday 13th of June (AEST).

Tales from Spasming Hill is an absurdist fantasy storytelling podcast set in the fictional town of Spasming Hill. The official description runs as follows:

Buried in the forests of Oregon and built thoughtlessly atop a fault line, the small community of Spasming Hill is home to friendly people, good clean living, and a mayor and her monstrous doppelganger that prowl the streets at night.

With a vast, sprawling containment complex, a local sport played only during violent earthquakes, and all the other familiar and highly classified elements of a welcoming community, Spasming Hill is probably just an ordinary town.

Join local reporter Rex Zorkel-Smythe and his newest intern Jacqueline Hyde as they bring you reports on the latest news, cultural happenings and council-mandated color-confiscation days in TALES FROM SPASMING HILL.

I hope you’re as excited as I am! It’s been a lot of work and I know my writing output here has suffered for it, but it’s heaps of fun to make and produce. Keep an eye out for further details here 🙂

[Radio] Theatre challenging heteronormativity

telescope

Theatre has a long, proud tradition of challenging the dominant societal norms of its day, from The Marriage of Figaro during the French Revolution to Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.

One particular social issue which has come to the fore over the past few decades is that of gender. The traditional view of a binary system with men and women at opposite ends has come under scrutiny from all areas of society.

Charlie O’Grady is a trans playwright who has dealt with themes of gender before in his play Kaleidoscope. He has a new play showing this week and next that continues his exploration of gender and questioning of traditional views on the subject.

I spoke with Charlie about his upcoming play, Telescope. Check it out on 2

http://www.2ser.com/component/k2/item/22286-theatre-challenging-heteronormativity

[Radio/podcast] Hayley Mary from the Jezabels on femininity, magic and Synthia

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If you know me, then you’ve probably heard me rave on and on about The Jezabels. This four-piece band (from my own university, University of Sydney) absolutely captivated me the first time I saw them, a few years ago at a youth music festival up in Dee Why.

Since then, I’ve had the good fortune to attend every performance they’ve given in Sydney, following their musical progress from their first EPs through their first, second and now third album.

The Jezabels have won me over not only with their brilliant laid-back ambient indie music and frontperson Hayley Mary’s virtuoso stage performances, but with the messages in their music: strong, bold lyrics about feminism, femininity, and raw human experience.

Recently, tragic news about keyboardist Heather requiring treatment for a rare form of ovarian cancer resulted in the cancellation of their planned world tour this year. Despite this, the band is staying strong and went ahead with releasing their third studio album, Synthia, which just arrived (with signatures from the whole band!) and is beautiful.

I had the fantastic opportunity to chat with Hayley Mary for FBi 94.5 FM, my local community music station. Check out my piece on it for FBi here.

[Review/podcast] Zoolander 2

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If you measure my love for a movie by how often I’ve quoted pithy and often irrelevant snippets of dialogue from it, then to this day Zoolander 1 comes second only to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

And that had three times as many movies each three times as long to make an impression!

I will quote Zoolander obsessively — no matter how many bodies I leave dead and buried along the way, just to make a name for myself as an investigative journalist, no matter how many bodies I leave dead and buried along the way.

So let’s fast-forward fifteen years. It’s 2016 and Zoolander 2 is coming out. I’m filled with high hopes and that sort of dogged optimism you get that a long-delayed sequel will somehow be as good as the original, at the same time knowing it probably won’t be. Imagine my surprise then, when amid little hype and universally tepid reviews, I really enjoyed it.

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[Podcast/feminism] Taboos around menstruation

Menstruacion by patheticpat

Menstruation is a perfectly natural bodily process. So why are we so squeamish whenever it’s brought up or even hinted at?

The taboos around menstruation stretch back to deep antiquity. Women engaging in sex during their period were thought to spawn monsters and the blood itself was believed to be able to cure leprosy.

I asked Carla Pascoe from the University of Melbourne where this social unease springs from.

Listen to it on 2SER, Soundcloud or through the embed below.