Archive for February, 2014

On It For The Weekend

Another weekend working on the new venue. Max already on it, painting the toilet ‘complex’ in the beer garden. Me taking photos. Again, the boys (professionals) arrive at 7am tomorrow for more construction & transformation. Apparently the weather’s looking kick-arse for the weekend.

Max painting Toilet
Max painting in the beer garden a few moments ago.

Have a great weekend.
Fires out.

Feb ‘Residency’ At Stalk & Kim’s

Last Saturday night was the 4th in a row playing at Stalk & Kim’s place. Kind of a Feb ‘residency’. Been having a ball – great way to wind down after a week working on the new venue. Can’t make it this Saturday due to an important family birthday dinner. Need a fill-in. I’ve left the guitar in open tuning so Stalk can take over this weekend…

Marty's Residency week 4 Stalk'sV2
Last Saturday night at Stalk & Kim’s, slide-guitar with cigarette lighter.

Fires out.

Light The Dark For Asylum Seekers

We’ve probably stooped about as low as we can regarding the treatment of asylum seekers. An international disgrace right under our noses, and a government who would keep us all in the dark. Time for a major change in thinking and approach. This from –

“On Sunday 23 February, more than 20,000 Australians turned out across the country and around the world to spread light during a dark time in Australian history. They gave hope and radiated compassion to asylum seekers suffering under our government’s cruel and punishing policies. Watch this video to see what they made possible.”

Fires out.

Sasha Pipa, Kiev Riots

This is an incredible photo. Sasha Pipa, injured in the Kiev riots.

Sasha Pipa injured in Kiev Riots

Fires out.

2 Cellos

This is awesome – give it a minute. Winds up & rocks out…

Thanks to Gav for sending the link.

Fires out.

Taiwan Shot, Sawdust

Live in Taiwan, June last year. Our final festival date before taking the show off the road for a little while.

Live In Taiwan2

As regular readers of this blog, you’ll have gathered we’re taking a break from live performance & touring in favour of writing new songs & building (renovating) our own venue in Collingwood. This weekend it’s on again – more work on the venue space. The crew arrive at 7am tomorrow, sawdust & hammers flying…

Have a great weekend.
Fires out.

Kiev Riots

Amazing the difference just a few years can make. Ukraine is again in the grip of civil unrest, Kiev’s city square a conflict zone as protesters clash with authorities. 26 people dead at last count. Max & I walked through that square, marveled at the architecture & sat down to eat with our friends. That was 2009. Touring Ukraine was an eye opening experience at a socio-political level. At shows in the east, audience members often insisted we communicate in Russian. In the west they loved it when we said the few words we knew in Ukrainian.

Our hosts & tour mates had protested and fought for freedom against Russian political tyranny as part of the Orange revolution in 2003. They had gained so much at enormous cost. Freedom and peace. Our hearts go out to them & we hope they’re OK through another episode of attempted oppression. Courageous, resilient people.

Here’s an article by published yesterday.

AFP Photo / Louisa Gouliamaki – Kiev Riots.

Fires out.

The Espy Up For Sale

Feels like every week there’s an article about another live music venue under threat or closing. And this is a big one. I remember going to community meetings to save the Espy over a decade ago when Becton bought it. The plan was to keep the ‘historical facade’ & whack up a massive apartment complex, obliterating the music venue. It didn’t happen due to a ground-swell of community intervention. But that was then. The Espy’s future will shortly be in the hands of it’s new owners, presiding over their prime St Kilda beach-front real estate. Nervous times. Here’s an excerpt from an article written by Al Newstead at  – published yesterday.

Espy Up For Grabs

“As the venue’s own website points out, The Espy is a cultural icon with a long standing tradition of live music, “on an average week the pub plays host to over 50 bands and DJs across 3 stages 7 days a week. The future status of the iconic Melbourne hotel as a live music venue is purely up to whomever the new owners are.

This makes me VERY nervous” said fellow live music venue operator James Young, of Melbourne’s Cherry Bar, in a Facebook post pointing towards an article from The Australian on the sale of the Espy. “In my opinion, no venue in Australia puts on more local live music than The Espy in St Kilda,” writes Young.”

Read more here.

Fires out.

Amsterdam 07

Amsterdam September 2007, the day before our first ever overseas tour date. That city was the first show on a European tour through 9 cities in 7 countries in 3 weeks. We’d finish up in Turkey after Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine & Romania. An eye-opening, mind-blowing experience.

TOF in Amsterdam, September 2007.

Fires out.

Triple J Lost

Another article about Triple J published last month in the Sydney Morning Herald (little slow off the mark here). To some degree I can understand it, but it still strikes me as ominous that no-one want’s to go ‘on the record’ to criticize the station. Even successful artists opt to speak anonymously. The power Triple J supposedly welds over the careers of Australian musicians has the industry walking on eggshells. But it’s a tax-payer funded organisation – so it doesn’t have the right to ostricise anyone for criticizing it. The problems with Triple J begin at a fundamental level: Either a committee should be choosing the station’s play-list, or they should do away with play-list’s altogether. Right now, program manager Richard Kingsmill, with God-like status, ultimately decides who gets on & who doesn’t (indeed, they call him ‘The King’). And that’s not right. No wonder Triple J has become homogenised and unrepresentative. Click here to read the article.

SMH JJJ Article

Fires out

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