Another one bites the dust

1 Apr

It’s official. The Palace is closing.

It seems premature to write an obituary when the venue is still operating, but given that the end is inevitable, why wait?

While the original application to turn the site of the Palace into a luxury hotel that contravened the height limits of the area was rejected, a decision has yet to be made on the revised proposal that is currently with Melbourne City Council.

Nevertheless, the landlords of the building have advised the venue operators that the music dies on May 31, 2014.

And with that, an end will come to the 15o+ years of entertainment history at the top of the city. Not to mention, leave a sizeable hole in available venues for touring bands.

Where the magic happened - The Palace sounddesk circa 2009

The Palace will become a thing of legend, spoken of in the same tone as long gone but the much missed Punters Club.

My recollections of the Palace go way back when, to when it was The Metro, and Goo was the night to go to.

One of the first gigs that I went to there, happened to be the ten year anniversary of the Dandy Warhols. Who decided to mark the occasion by having a halftime joint to celebrate. Things got a little bit looser after that …

More recent recollections are of Goldfrapp dressed in what can only be described as Betamax; of Warren Ellis writhing around in a mix of leads and pedals during a Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds show; of the floor positively shaking as the Cat Empire commanded everyone to get down and get up again; and of Sharon Jones demonstrating the history of dance to an awestruck audience.Goldfrapp - The Palace Theatre, 2010

 Good time indeed.

So it is with a heavy heart that I toast the dying days of the Palace. May it be a phoenix and rise once more.

There is a light that never goes out

28 Feb

Take me out tonight

Where there’s music and there’s people

And they’re young and alive

The Smiths: There is a light that never goes out

Last Saturday night, Melbourne experienced it’s second installment of White Night. Just like the first time, the city was lit up like a proverbial Christmas tree and people packed into the CBD in the hundreds of thousands, to be a part of it.

What earth hour does for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, White Night took us a major step backwards. 12 hours of projections on buildings and bridges. Floodlights reaching for the sky. Not to mention every office building and shop that had lights a blazing.

But my gosh, those projections were amazing. Flinders Street Station as a jumping castle. The Forum as a circus big top. Faces in the trees. Viruses taking over the State Library.

I hope you enjoy these snapshots…

Here’s looking forward to the 2015 version.

Coney Island Baby

29 Oct

Remember that the city is a funny place

Something like a circus or a sewer

And just remember different people have peculiar tastes

Lou Reed, Coney Island Baby

Coney Island has always been high on my places to go list; the derelict buildings, the amusements and a mermaid parade. And it didn’t disappoint. I even managed to catch a wedding!

In honour of Lou Reed, I’m jumping the order of my great States adventure to bring you some shots from the Boardwalk.

Just think of it like a movie that starts at the end, and then goes backwards in time. After this, I’ll be back in the desert with photos of Bryce Canyon, Kodachrome State Park and other natural wonders.

Phoneography Challenge: My Neighbourhood

14 Mar

Welcome to Brunswick, where it’s consistently 85 degrees.

The Abruzzo Club, Brunswick

The Abruzzo Club sign is a great landmark for Brunswick. Unfortunately it’s not the most accurate thermometer. For the last few months, we’ve either been 85 or 69 degrees. A fair effort considering Melbourne’s top temperature this year has been about 37.

A couple of years back we had six months stuck on 11 degrees. Word around the traps was that it had frozen up. But I think I may have made that up!

Nevertheless, I still check it every morning, hoping that I’ve dressed appropriately!

photo taken on my camera phone and digitally altered the old school way, using Paint!

Do not go quietly, unto your grave

29 May

Many moons ago, I became aware of ‘over 28’s’ nights.

I was a first year uni student, having my eyes opened to so many new ideas and experiences that I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like in three years time, let alone ten. Twenty eight seemed so old at the time.

And here I am now: over 30 and childless.

Which turns out to be the best possible life scenario in Australia at the moment. Bonus points for having a job, no mental or physical illness, and a higher education. Minus points for being a woman, a public servant and the desire to go back to study, have a child, or god forbid – both.

Under the budget as proposed by the Abbot government, life is expected to get harder for a hell of a lot of people. Mostly, those who are already struggling or at a disadvantage for whatever reason. And now, in the latest announcement from the government, you may be able to continue to suffer in death!

so now that I’m too old for the over 28’s crowd, I better start thinking ahead for my next social phase.

hopefully I’m not still working at 70, I can still afford to eat, and music venues still exist. Most of all, I hope that (in the words of the late Mark Sandman) I do not go quietly unto my grave.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

29 Mar

Somewhere between Nicholson Street in Fitzroy, and Lygon Street in Carlton there is a street that is just a little bit different.

On this wide and leafy street, there is a series of houses that are making a quiet statement. If you drove down the street, or even cycled, you would probably miss it.

But one day when I was ambling my way home, and thankfully had my camera with me, these houses caught my eye.

It’s one of the things I love about Melbourne, there is a surprise around every corner.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie

10 Feb

In general, there is only one real reason that I would take a ‘selfie’ and that is, to prove to my friends and family that I did actually go on holiday somewhere.

It’s usually one selfie per thousand landscape/architecture/graffiti shots. Without these rare pictures I’m accused of scanning postcards and downloading from travel websites. So it was slim pickings from which to choose for this weeks challenge.

This particular image was taken at Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona. The reflected image is just a smidgeon of Lake Powell. A drop in the ocean so to speak.

Reflections of Lake Powell, Arizona

Night in White (satin)

6 Feb

It’s time to get excited Melbourne. The one night of the year that you can find people older than 30 in the CBD after the last tram has gone is almost upon us.

Mark the date in your diary and cancel any previous engagements you have for the whole weekend, because White Night is almost upon us.

From 7pm on Saturday 22 February through to 7am on Sunday 23rd, the wider CBD will be completely closed to traffic and be instead overrun with families, performance artists, hipsters, and enthusiasts of synchronised swimming.

Coming back to Melbourne for its second incarnation, White Night (aka la Noche en Blanco aka Nuit Blanche) this year will spread from Victoria Street, Carlton to the NGV on St Kilda Road. And from Elizabeth Street up to Russell Street.

White Night 2013, Princes Bridge White Night 2013, Princes BridgeIf I learned anything from last year,  it would be to chuck out any plans you make to catch up with people or see more than one particular event.

Pick the one thing that you are really really keen to see. And make sure you go and see it. Meeting a bunch of mates under the clocks is a little bit hard when 299,999 other people also have the same idea.

Last year I diligently went through the program, wrote down the times of bands, prioritised my favourites and told everyone that i would see them there.

And then I got there. Late. Getting from the Forum Theatre down to Flinders Street station  took more than half an hour. That said, I actually did run into friends, see my priority event (The Rebelles) and as a bit of a bonus, the projections along Flinders Street (though not on my planned list of things to see) were magical.

The Rebelles at Flinders Street Station as part of White Night Melbourne 2013.

The Rebelles at Flinders Street Station as part of White Night Melbourne 2013.

So this year, I’m going to review the full program – available now at whitenightmelbourne.com.au –  write down everything I want to see, and then leave the piece of paper at home.  And hopefully make it past 1am before complaining of being tired and having sore feet.

I may even wear satin.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Object

1 Feb

Hello 2014!

After an extended break, I’m back in wordpress land – and  am looking forward to being a bit more active in the digital space this year.

So what better way to start than with a fresh, weekly photo challenge? I love these challenges for the inspiration and also (goes without saying) the challenge.

This week, one object.

On the woodland floor

I stumbled across this mushroom on a walk through the woodlands on the Isle of Arran (UK) and thought it was just perfect.