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Wednesday, 28 April 2010 15:07

Guru Vale Interview

Step Out The Arena

Last week saw the passing of Guru, the voice of influential hip hop duo Gang Starr. Born Keith Elam, the gruff-voiced MC succumbed to multiple myeloma, a condition which lead to his hospitalisation in February. He passed into a coma shortly thereafter and did not regain consciousness.

Tuesday, 04 October 2011 17:06

Too Much Flesh?

When is exhibiting too much flesh, too much, at festivals?

Are oiled-up, gymbots charging around in little more than lyrca cut-offs ‘too much’? What about a young woman, perched atop her friend’s shoulders, showing off her assets with real delight? Is that ‘too much’? Or is it ‘bloody bewdy, mate!’

Is there a double standard here? You can’t be revolted by the sight of a marauding pack of virtually naked man-beasts, yet clamber for a better vantage point when a lass slips into her Eve outfit. Can you? At what point do we reach a social responsibility that places prudish behaviour above risque acts of public nudity? Could we reach a point where guys wearing no shirts would be forced to cover up?

Or can you argue that displaying too much skin is alright, if you have it to show off? ‘We’re young, good looking and having fun, why should we cover up?’ would be the mantra of the youth. What’s the difference between enjoying a day at the beach in your swimwear to running around a music event in much the same clobber?

Friday, 30 September 2011 16:59

Manifest Almost Shut Down

Last weekend Manifest took place west of Brisbane at Bestbrook Mountain Resort. But a last minute Brisbane Magistrates court injunction almost derailed the outdoor music festival.

“At the 11th hour, the day of the festival, we were served an injunction from local council,” one of the festival’s co-ordinators, Renan Inal, says. “I had to get to court within two hours, which is physically less time than it takes to get from Manifest to Brisbane. I managed to get to court on time, just in time. I even received a fine for parking in a bus stop.”

The news didn’t get any better with the court ruling that Manifest, which had planned to be a 24/7 event, couldn’t operate between 10pm and 7am. Renan then relayed this news to the 1400+ strong crowd, who’d already gathered for the weekend.

“Everyone took it in their stride and it turned really positive, it became really about community, it proved that we are not a bunch of ‘druggos’ that want to listen to music for three days.

“As soon as it hit 10pm we had fire twirlers, cabaret, theatre, acoustic drumming circles and so much more. Because we had such a strong sense of community we were able to have a lot of community support, and it didn’t turn into an absolute riot.

“It was the best outcome out of the most messed up situation and that is just because our crew is really tight, our community is really tight.”

Manifest took place at Bestbrook Mountain Resort September 23-25. A third Manifest is already being planned by event organisers for next year.









Tuesday, 25 January 2011 14:39

Big Day Out 2011 Review

<<SIA

GOLD COAST PARKLANDS SUN. JAN. 23

Kicking off Big Day Out action at the Converse Essential Stage was New Zealand's The Naked and Famous.

The tent was filled to the brim with eager festival heads, including a collection of gents who had let their girlfriends' backsides take up residence on their shoulders. Ahh, modern-day chivalry.

Also at the Converse Stage, a barefoot Megan Washington pumped out a series of crowd favourites, while a new song was warmly welcomed by the audience - but did anyone else pick up on the uncanny likeness of Washington's 'Plastic Bag' to Laura Marling's 'Rambling Man'? Waiting at the Green Stage for Grinderman, I got the feeling that a lot of people would be crossing entries off their bucket lists after seeing 'the man', Nick Cave, in action. Cave did not disappoint, and neither did Warren Ellis, Martyn Casey or Jim Sclavunos. An adoring audience was treated to unbridled live versions of 'Worm Tamer', 'Love Bomb' and 'Get It On'.

By: Jodie Grinsted


With an image of a strange half-human, half-lizard face on the stage screen, South African hip hop DJ group Die Antwoord unleashed themselves upon the audience. Though not as obscene as one might have expected after watching the group’s YouTube videos, Die Antwoord were nonetheless amazing to see in the flesh. With pinpoint vocals and an orgasmic amount of bass, the group kept the audience captivated until the end of the set.

The same cannot, unfortunately, be said for Iggy Pop, whose frail, gyrating-old-man body inspired sympathy rather than a punk rock passion to rebel.  That said, the performance was solid, and Mr Pop seems to be still having a lot of fun entertaining punters, so I can’t really be too harsh on him. Another slight disappointment, and I’m aware I may be lynched after writing this, was Tool. Poor vocals and a complete lack of interest from lead singer Maynard left a sense of confusion and bewilderment amongst the crowd, with many a call of “turn up the vocals” being yelled at the stage.

By: The Blue Monkey



The Big Day Out is always a mixed bag of bands, clashing set times, dust, dagwood dogs and way too many sweaty shirtless men. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetics Zeros managed to restore my faith and have me believe that smocks and top knots on a man are sexy. Speaking of psychedelic, which we weren’t but you would’ve been after seeing Sia in her Gaga-esque homemade costume, (courtesy of Crazy Clark’s and her two friends).

Resplendent in striped jumpsuits, her band provided both romantic opportunities (she pointed out which were single and which weren’t) and the musical platform for Sia to jump off. Which she did - with gusto and perfectly pitched glorious vocals. Another girl who giggles is the sweet Julia Stone and together with her brother Angus performed a dreamy set under the hot air balloons that hung from the ceiling of the Converse Stage.

By: Majella McMahon



With the sun streaming down and the stench of last week's flood still firmly in many nostrils, it was reassuring to head to Parklands for BDO 2011; exactly the same as every other year. Despite a mildly uninspiring lineup, there were pockets of joy to be found, the first of which was Bliss N Eso’s maiden BDO show. The duo (plus uber talented DJ Izm) was a ball of energy, prowling the stage, splitting the crowd with call and response and generally working it, getting plenty of bogan love in the mid-arvo sunshine as they ran through their genuinely impressive back catalogue.

A quick squizz at the Surecut Kids over in the Boiler Room saw them working a bass-heavy sound with splashes of Baltimore and dubstep - perhaps a bit derivative, but it got the young gurners in the tent closing their eyes and flexing their mandibles nicely. Back at the main stage, the John Butler Trio was incredibly well received, and from the elevated shelter of the VIP tent (nice one!), where they were actually selling full-strength alcohol (even nicer one!), tracks like 'Wrong Way', 'Better' and emotive closer 'Revolution' sounded pretty damn fine. Some poor girl had her top ripped off on someone's shoulders during Birds Of Tokyo's triumphant set, the whole thing flashed up on the big screens.

By: Holden Caulfield
PHOTOS: LACHLAN DOUGLAS



Wednesday, 19 January 2011 13:31

Film Reviews

<< Black Swan

WHAT TO WATCH

MEET THE PARENTS: LITTLE FOCKERS

Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba. Directed by Paul Weitz.

Did we really need another one of these? In 'Meet The Parents: Little Fockers', writers John Hamburg and Larry Stuckey keep the bawdiness coming as nurse Greg Focker (Stiller) and father-in-law and ex-CIA agent Jack Byrnes (De Niro) once again do battle, before once again bonding with each other by the final credits. The film may be subtitled ‘Little Fockers’, but the promise of a new generation is a hollow one, the kids hardly featuring as Jack (for the third time) terrorises Greg into temporary madness. Better than the second film but not even close to the magic of the first, this is one big joke that should have ended a long time ago.

2 1/2 stars
Matt Shea

‘Meet the Parents: Little Fockers’ is in cinemas now.


Burlesque

Christina Aguilera, Cher, Stanley Tucci, Kristen Bell. Directed by Steve Antin.

There were no expectations for this film as the road has been littered with the cinematic corpses of musical stars trying their hand at acting (Mariah Carey in Glitter, Britney Spears in Crossroads, Madonna in Swept Away). But the sneaky casting of film stalwarts gave me hope (Stanley Tucci, Alan Cumming, Peter Gallagher) that there could be a film worth watching here. And... it is watchable but that’s all. For fans of Christina, this is a vehicle for her voice and the film centres around that. In saying that, the acting by all is passable, the storyline is simple and doesn’t aim too high and the dance routines are saucy and fun. Cher’s face is distracting as nothing moves, Cam Gigandet’s chest is distracting as he wanders about naked and Tucci is distracting as he again plays the best gay straight man I have seen on film.

2 stars
Majella McMahon

‘Burlesque’ is in cinemas now


BLACK SWAN

Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis. Directed by Darren Aronofsky.

At first glance, ‘Black Swan’ - a psychological thriller revolving around a performance of ‘Swan Lake’ - wouldn’t seem to have much in common with ‘The Wrestler’, director Darren Aronofsky’s last film. ‘The Wrestler’ was an earthy, gritty affair, focusing on a defiantly lowbrow sport; ‘Black Swan’ is loaded with horror and fantasy elements and explores the distinctly highbrow New York ballet scene. And you’re not about to confuse Mickey Rourke with Natalie Portman anytime soon.
Ultimately, though, both films do an equally brilliant job of exploring the exact same subject matter - the toll physically demanding artforms take on their practitioners. ‘Black Swan’, with its theatrical backdrop, simply takes a more melodramatic approach. It also has way more hot lesbian makeout scenes than ‘The Wrestler’, which obviously makes it the better film.

5 stars
Rohan Williams

‘Black Swan’ pirouettes into cinemas on January 20.


The Dilemma

Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Connelly, Winona Ryder, Kevin James. Directed by Ron Howard.

With a cast of this calibre, a director who knows what he is doing and a catchy concept - this should have been a winner. But alas, ‘The Dilemma’ falls short of being anything much at all other than a time filler. The premise of the film is good - best friends Ronny (Vaughn) and Nick (James) are about to land the deal of a lifetime with their auto design business when Ronny discovers Nick’s wife (Ryder) is cheating on him with a tattooed younger man (Channing Tatum). Whatever ensued should have been hilarious but ends up feeling overly complicated, drawn out and slightly unbelievable. However Tatum is a surpirse comedic force and provides both beautiful eye candy and big belly laughs. How he manages to still look sexy when he is crying is amazing.

2 stars
Majella McMahon

‘The Dilemma’ is in cinemas now.


Morning Glory

Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton and Jeff Goldblum. Directed by Roger Michell.

'Morning Glory' is like waking up to freshly buttered toast oozing with honey. Up and coming television producer Becky Fuller (McAdams) relishes 2am starts, a sunrise over deserted city streets and unquestionably tacky breakfast broadcasting. Though when given her dream promotion as executive producer on ‘Day Breakers’, she quickly realises the anchors (Ford, Keaton) are quite the weighty burden. Roger Michell (Notting Hill) has wonderfully captured everything fake and kitsch about breakfast television and the film is well cast, entertaining, with a warm story and nothing too serious - hopefully Kochie takes home a few pointers.

3 stars
Ben Edwards

'Morning Glory' is in cinemas now.


Unstoppable

Denzel Washington and Chris Pine. Directed by Tony Scott.

The question - how hard is it to care about a train? The answer - damn near impossible. But what we can care about is a carriage full of screaming children hurtling at top speeds into said train. And it's for this reason that 'Unstoppable' pulls us in and never lets us go. Denzel Washington and Star Trek captain Chris Pine's partnership is actually quite endearing as the two battle with their past relationships whilst simultaneously battling with a speeding train. Based, surprisingly, on a true story, 'Unstoppable' is gripping right to the end. If you can get past the first awkward ten minutes or so where the fat guy falls over and the train takes off, you're in for a thrill ride of epic proportions.

2 1/2 stars
Dave Zwolenski

‘Unstoppable’ is in cinemas now.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010 13:45

2010 Arts Overview

TOP FIVE MOMENTS

As 2010 draws to a close with a quiet 'bang', Scene's writers cast a discerning eye back over what has been a standout year for the Brisbane arts scene. Across theatre, dance, music, opera, circus and comedy, it's been a stellar year for celebration - here are our picks!


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