Tuesday, December 30, 2008

east balmain to hyde park

On my way home this evening I drove over to East Balmain to park my car where I'll be leaving it for the next 24 hours or so. People who attempt to find a parking spot in East Balmain on nye will be dreaming. It's quite an ingenious thing to do really, park your car 24 hours prior to a major event so as to avoid all the chaos. It won't be so ingenious if the car gets broken into, but fingers crossed that doesn't happen!! ;)

I walked all the way from East Balmain to Hyde Park in central Sydney where I took the bus to Bondi Junction then walked the rest of the way home. I took some shots with my mobile phone during the walk, that took my from Darling Street, East Balmain, then across to Beattie Street and Mullens Street, Rozelle, onto Victoria Road and the Anzac Bridge. I climbed down to Pyrmont and cut across the walkover bridge over Darling Harbour & Cockle Bay Wharf, up through the city into Hyde Park. These photos actually display back to front, commencing with the last photo taken displaying first (below)...(it has to do with the way the photos upload etc). I'm pleased with the photos, they turned out well despite the low pixilation.

The photo above is taken from the entry into Pyrmont and looks westward at the sunset over Anzac Bridge.

Below is a photo of the square lake at Hyde Park that leads onto the lit walkway. A famous Australian band had photos taken at this very spot all the way back in 1980.

There's an opening below (currently undergoing repair) where that same band posed for photos c.1980.
The lit walkway in Hyde Park.
Centrepoint tower.
Fountain / cathedral shots.

State Theatre in Market Street.
Darling Harbour with Novotel in the background.
Western end of the city.


Anzac Bridge shots.

Photo taken from Rozelle.

Mullens Street Rozelle.
A house in East Balmain. Sandstone houses remain common in this area.
East Balmain.

painkiller gig 22 dec

Painkiller gig last Monday night, 22 Dec 2008, Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst.

I went along to the gig with the same friend I first went to see the Church with in Dec 1987, exactly 21 years ago, when Under the Milky Way was first performed. What has happened to us in 21 years?? Well, he has two children and a business that keeps him mightily busy while I'm childless and footloose and work in a library and make music in my spare time.

...I really don't wish to give up my music. I attribute my latter-day confidence and sanity to music, and the relationship that music has had with me over all of these years.

This was Steve Kilbey's 2nd Painkiller gig, the first gig having been at the same venue on 10 September this year. On 10 September I came in on my own at around 10pm and was upset because a close friend had been crying on the phone to me. Hearing those songs for the first time in the delicate state I was in had a seismic effect on me, I latched onto the sound and power of the Painkiller set instantly and walked out of the venue a changed man, inspired, raw and opened up within.

I had the advantage of being fully familiar with the songs by the time of the Dec 22 gig. It appeared that there were a few less people in the audience this time. Unfortunately I didn't speak to any of the bloggers but I now know who a few more of them are via Steve Kilbey's blog and facebook so next time I will definitely say hello to a few people. The girl doing the merch told me to hang around for Steve to sign the book I bought. I didn't feel like hanging around so I left but I hope I can tail Steve somewhere before he goes off to Melbourne so that he can sign my book. I haven't commenced reading it. I'm determined to finish Jim Sharman's autobiography before I touch anything else.

The Painkiller set was classic Kilbey rock. The band sound was full and exquisite. My eyes, as I was dancing away, were fixated on Kilbey and his bass. I was aurally transfixed by Kilbey's lyrics and his melodies juxtaposed to the bass riffs. Steve Kilbey is a master of composition, not utterly dissimillar to J S Bach who was a genius of counterpoint, the way the melody and bass groove together in such a bedrock yet inspired fashion. The bass-playing of Kilbey's takes me in to a very deep place, and god I love that.

Not to take anything away from the other fine musicians. Rick Maymi provided a wonderful wall of sound and glided his way through inventive chordal shapes and picked notes throughout the entire set so that, along with the rhythm guitar and keyboard programmer, the band imparted to these songs a colossal mix that made for a magnificent live sound. There's an idiot on Kilbey's blog who's causing a stir in attempting to diss Maymi's guitar playing, failing in his ignorance to acknowledge that Maymi is a brilliant musician. Be at the gig, watch him play, listen to him play, and then you know. Some people however can't know that, it's beyond their ken, so they diss. Maymi was brilliant.

Kilbey's bass was out of tune at the beginning but I didn't pick up on that and neither did my friend who has razor-sharp ears. The backdrop slide-show was awesome and enhanced the impact of these powerful songs. Kilbey appeared a touch more laid-back than he did at the September gig where he evinced a one-pointed resoluteness in performing these songs live for the first time. The band looked like they may have shared a smoke or drink or two but in no way did that detract from the performance, the music was perhaps made all the more sensual and pungent for it.

A brilliant gig and night. I wish Steve wasn't moving out of Sydney. It's been great having him here all these years and attending these fantastic gigs year after year, whether it be solo, the Church, or now Painkiller. But life moves on. I may be outta here before long, too.

Friday, December 26, 2008

harold pinter died today...

harold pinter died today. i was saddened by the news as i am when any playwright dies. at work we always put up a display when a playwright passes away. we do the same with famous actors though i'm more intrigued by the playwrights. i often stare at the displayed dates of birth and death and think about their lives and feel how sad it is they have died after all the creative effort and work they've put into making theatre that is immensely satisfying to them and to their audience.

i haven't seen a pinter play. there was 1 or 2 put on at drama school in my time but i didn't go for whatever reason. i read a recent pinter treatise on propaganda and the iraq war. i was impressed by the power of reason, the persuasive language and authority and passion the man poured through his pen onto paper (or keypad onto screen). i'd like to see a pinter play now the man has passed. all those classics with titles like the caretaker, or the birthday party. i like that, the birthday party. probably lots of vodkas and tails.

pinter seemed like the kind of person who could live on forever. his was a towering vibe, not a meek or angled one. there was presence and force about him. i only know that from the photos so really i don't know.

pinter's plays will likely live on. we have many authors & playscripts in our library whose work gathers dust. all these old samuel french editions of british playwrights from the turn of the century onward, left to lie dustily on our shelves with no interest taken by anyone. those men and women who wrote those plays, enjoying their writing, fervourous to create theatre, writing with their british know-how and mirth and empirical confidence and not acknowledging that in 80 years time no one will care just as no one will definitely be caring about what i'm writing about now in how ever many years time (count that on one hand lol)

i can't handle that people die. it sucks. i love you all and i want to be with you forever.

yes.... you.

boxing day at the cemetary

I've had a nice day today. Much more pleasant than Christmas day. I've been hanging out with my mum and nephew Alex. Alex is in need of rest and tlc and I'm enjoying caring for him which I'll do until Sunday, perhaps Saturday. We went off to Centennial Park today, and then drove down to Botany Cemetary, or more officially, the Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park, to visit my father.

Here is a black swan in Centennial Park. Summer has finally arrived with a warm & sunny day, and a choir of ciccadas & crickets chirping incessantly in the midday sun.

Here's a view of the vault cemetary at Botany. Mostly Italians are kept here. I knew a few other people at the vaults aside from my father.
The long and winding road...
The tower at the crematorium.
Dad's plaque.

He was a stunner, a strong man who prided himself on his bullish toughness. He would have been about 41-42 around the time this photo was taken.
Cigarettes & beer, plus all the effort the man expended into keeping in place a volcanic bedrock of emotional pain, wore my dad down by his 63rd year. The man did his best in life under some very difficult and horrid circumstances, and for that I am kindly most grateful. God bless.

It was warm and sunny and with few people at the crematorium, the vibe could be best described as sunnily incandescent. The last time I visited dad was Boxing Day 2007, again I took my mother. It tends to be the only chance I get to go. There's a happy, free feeling there, particularly on a sunny day. It probably helps that it's so close to the sea, to La Perouse at the northern entrance of Botany Bay.
I drove us to a nearby lookout afterward and took some shots. There were beaches and they were packed with people. I think they had the right idea.

Me and mum.
Alex and mum.

A view over La Perouse head from our lookout point.

And that's it. ....now, for the real world to come back!

canterbury christmas 2008

Christmas Day 2008. A cloudy start to a day that thankfully brightened up. I drove my mum & nephew down to an apartment in Canterbury where my brother's staying. The apartment is fairly new and is situated at the shore of the Cooks River.

View from a bridge:

It was a fairly nondescript day. I would have much preferred stay home and read a book, or to take a lovely stroll by a beach or a forest; nonetheless it was good to hang out with my brother and nephews. There were other people there. I didn't talk to them much. I gave out lots of presents and received a beach towel in return, but it is a very nice beach towel.. I invariably prefer Boxing Day, today, to Christmas Day. My method of unwinding was to take late night photos using my i-mac, posing with my top-hat & ukulele. I think I'm kind of getting addicted to my i-mac, and with it, myspace and (god forbid), ..facebook.

My nephews Alex & Raffi. They're cousins.Playing cricket with the dog fielding. I used to a cricket-obsessed in my early-teens but now I abhor the sport, principally because of the commentators on TV. It's the same crew who drone on about the same thing year after year, decade after decade, as if the sport is its own cocoon, it's own heaven, and that the more important issues facing humanity don't seem to impinge on those who partake in this arena they call cricket.

Nonetheless it is good to get out there and have a hit. I was a talented cricketer but didn't follow through with the sport because I couldn't stand fielding, and I don't really enjoy team sports. I could never handle hanging out with a bunch of guys in sports mode for any length of time.
I love dogs!

A pelican atop a piece of rock in the Cooks River. Low tide.
My favourite pastime (below)! Merry xxmas. *gulp !*


enjoying a bevvy Awakening to the ‘good’ in our lives and to the fulfilling sense of gratitude which follows often comes to us via ...