Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Women driving in Saudi Arabia: hot music video

February 6, 2012 2 comments

M.I.A. – Bad Girls

I came across this jaw-dropping music video and had to share it with you because:

1. You won’t have seen anything like it before.

2. You won’t have heard anything like it before. Listen to it twice. It’s serious girl-swagger on steroids.

3. It makes a statement and it makes it well. Really well. Love it or hate it, but you can’t un-hear it. Its effect stays with you. It may even inspire me to work on my reverse-parking (because girls can do anything).

As you may know, women in Saudi Arabia are banned by clerics from driving. This restricts their ability to work, socialise and do many of the things women in the west take for granted. They are completely dependent upon males driving them and essentially supervising them in public. Read more about the stirrings of an Arab Spring for Women.

MIA, the British visual artist turned singer, will be responding to her favourite YouTube comments on 10 Feburary 2012. Go say hi.

What I love about this particular music video is that it mocks the arbitrariness of the unwritten rules which prevent Saudi women from driving as badly as their men and participating in society. It leaves their religion alone. Let people believe what they want without ridicule, but let fly at the way they conduct themselves in the world when it’s oppressive.

Brisbane Floods: Catching concrete, saving fish

January 14, 2011 1 comment

Dear Friends,

On Thursday, 13th January, 2011, at about 4 a.m. the Brisbane River peaked.

Reliable sources tell me (without compromising photographic evidence) that New Farm was party central the night before the Brisbane River peaked. Residents, sick of waiting for the inevitable, took to the only store that was open … the Brunswick Hotel. The bottlo did a brisk trade, with a queue ten cars long into the evening. That would be the convict spirit (pun intended) coming through – if you’re stuffed, you may as well quit worrying about it.

The morning of the 13th, when the river peaked and started receding, residents could barely recognise their neighbourhood.

A local rescued a fish from a gutter in Villiers St, New Farm. Happily, for the fish, it was returned to the river. The fish’s name was “Max”, if you must know. We think it was a Whiting.

Andy rescues a fish from Villiers St

The Auntie-who-thinks-of-everything provided me with a bunch of photos which she took for you, Dear Readers. Auntie lives in the now-swamp of New Farm. I’ll be out there cleaning stinky, burping mud with her shortly.

I’ve put the images into a slideshow (below), to the haunting sounds of La Spina – Brisbane pop princess Anna-Maria La Spina & opera-singing brother, Rosario. You might want to check out their first album together, La Spina: Always You. I reviewed it here. Thanks Anna-Maria & Rosario. I know you both care a lot about your hometown.

As mentioned in my post yesterday, Brisbane has lost its Riverwalk to the flood. It was due to be dismantled during the night, but eye-witness Auntie was saying her last goodbye to it at about midnight when it started making loud pinging, snapping and cracking noises, as if it were being detonated into pieces. The police present radioed it in – next thing we knew, two bits (one around 7m, the other around 70m) broke free and caused much stress – should they have knocked into a bridge, it would’ve been done for. In the morning, just before one such piece was due to collide with a bridge, a brave little tug boat came out and bumped it under safely.

One wonders how much concrete now lies at the bottom of Morton Bay and precisely where. One minute, fish are swimming on concrete; next, the concrete comes to them. Very confusing times, indeed.

Here are the New Farm-centric images from Thursday.

Please keep Queensland in your thoughts and prayers.

Article & links to volunteering here.

UPDATE: Reader Lee suggests that our fish may in fact be a Bream – thanks Lee!

Modern Talking: Blue Steel with lip gloss

November 25, 2010 Leave a comment

What’s hotter than a German man wearing lip gloss? Well, two German men wearing lip gloss, of course. Check out Modern Talking’s “Brother Louie”

And for the best Blue Steel, Zoolander, let-me-undress-you-with-my-eyes-right-after-I-admire-myself look, check out Modern Talking here in “You’re My Heart, You’re My Soul”.

The music is catchy. I know you’ll thank me for the ear worm.

Sony Music won’t allow embedding of the YouTube clips, so you’ll have to click through to YouTube (sorry!). Miss Nine (who is slightly obsessed) has kindly sketched one of the German mega-stars for your pleasure.

… you’re my heart … you’re my soul … OOOHHHH ….

(With thanks to reader Chris.)

Categories: Music

LOL: The Facebook Song (Are you f*ckin’ kidding me?)

November 19, 2010 Leave a comment

For your pleasure, a little song by Brisbane girl, Kate Miller-Heidke about setting boundaries with Facebook friending. (Warning: language).

Have a fabulous Friday.
(With thanks to Reader Nella).

Pat Benatar, The Bangles & Rushcutter

October 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Lucky Reader Louise not only had aa seats, but scored Spyder's pick! (With thanks, Louise)

On Wednesday, 20 October 2010, Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo and The Bangles rocked the Brisbane Convention Centre. Dear Husband bought tickets for my birthday, for the four of us, including Miss Six and Miss Nine.

Why take kids to this concert? Well, for the same reason we took them to see Andre Rieu – it’s an experience. Besides, with Benatar and The Bangles, we could be assured of the following:

1. They’d have clothes on and keep them on.
2. No profanity.
3. No tedious, media-seeking bad behaviour.
4. No awkward explanations would be required (cf. “Mum, what’s Lady Gaga mean when she says I wanna ride on your disco stick?”)
5. They can hold a note.

There weren’t any theatrical explosions or people swinging from the ceiling and no baboonesque presentation of bums and crotches: it was about the music. Not that I mind a good visual performance (personally, I thought The Wiggles were looking less fit than Yours Truly, in their last big show in Brisbane and could take some notes from the ever-athletic Pink – and no, we didn’t take the kids to Pink). But sometimes, it’s good to tune in with our ears and give our eyes a bit of a rest.

The warm-up act was Rushcutter from Melbourne. Check them out; they deserve a bit of your ear time. Those boys could hold a tune but won the audience over with their humour: “Gee, we really love it here in Brisbane. The weather’s SO nice!” That coming from people who wake up in the morning expecting bad weather every day. Meanwhile, we were all wondering whether the sky would open on us on the way home. We’re a bit over flooding rain in the Sunshine State. The fellas had a hard time getting the crowd going though, because:
(a) most of the crowd was missing, until The Bangles arrived (and after);
(b) no-one knew their work; and
(c) the BCEC lacks atmosphere – especially when each of two painful intermissions and before the show, involved piped music from hell (in fact, I remember the music from when I was there last year to see French & Saunders).

The Bangles brought their California sound to Brisbane and looked great. They plan to come out to Australia again next year, with a new CD. They did their best songs (and the rest) and closed with “Walk Like an Egyptian” which is joyful, over-the-top 80s at its best. Their finale had everyone on their feet.

The decibels were cranked up for Benatar and Giraldo (why do they need to do that?) Fortunately, we’d invested in some hearing protection (a dollar at the chemist buys you rated foam ear plugs). This duo is still as awesome as ever. They played all their classics, along with a few obscure ones. The only song which needed some explaining, was their anthem for abused kids, “Hell is For Children.” Giralodo made the guitar scream, cry and demand that the world sit up and do something for the kids who have no hope. It’s not my favourite song, but it makes its point.

Eighties music is such a relief from much of today’s musical me-me-me and is innocent by comparison. Benatar broke rules and took rock chic to new limits, but it was and still is, all about the music, and how music is a part of and reflection of real life.

UPDATE: New photos below (with thanks, Anita Di Bartolo).

The Bangles, 2010 Brisbane Entertainment & Convention Centre.

Pat Benatar, 2010 BCEC.

Louise ('I got the pick!') & Photographer Anita, just a little excited about their aa seats

Categories: Music, Stage

Get your blues on this weekend

October 13, 2010 Leave a comment

If you’re in Brisbane this Sunday, October 17th, 2010, drop into the Jubilee Hotel anywhere from NOON (correction, not 1:30pm) onwards and support precious Karli by listening to some great bands! These awesome folks are donating their appearance fee. All we have to do is come cheer them on. Entry is free and kids are invited.

If you can’t get down there, but would like to buy raffle tickets or make a donation to the Karli Dyke Foundation, message Yours Truly and I’ll find out more details.

About a year ago, Karli was diagnosed with a form of leukemia. She’s the bravest little critter I know. This Sunday, she turns 9 and she’ll be celebrating in style. (Blues bands playing for your 9th party, how cool is that! I can feel a “Blues Brothers” quote coming on …)

Watch this space, as Karli and her super-mum Suzie might drop by and do a guest appearance on the blog.

The bands:
Transvaal Diamond Syndicate
Morningside Fats
Jimi Beavis
Andrew Baxter
Doug Ford

The venue:
Jubilee Hotel

I hope to see you there!

UPDATE: Big shout out to Spencer Howson on 612 ABC Breakfast for announcing Karli’s gig! [Friday 15 October 2010].

Review: Burn the Floor (choreographed by Jason Gilkison)

September 13, 2010 Leave a comment

This new show, choreographed by Australia’s beloved Jason Gilkison, doesn’t just burn the floor – it burns the house down.

Gilkison has become international hot property, choreographing and judging most recently, on the American and Australian dance show franchise, “So You Think You Can Dance.” I’ll admit to a slight addiction to the show and a great admiration for Gilkison. You can see his style and great Aussie humour in his choreography. Fans of our boys, The Cat Empire will enjoy the Jive number he set to “Fishies“.

The chorie is inspired, the costuming just yummy and the dancing is HOT. The live singing is great and the stage setup is just right. It was non-stop action: one song led into another and there was no intermission. It was the fastest 70 minutes of my life.

The show’s on the Gold Coast at the moment from 26/8 to 31/10, at the Jupiters Hotel & Casino. It’s great value at $59 a ticket or $69 with dinner – and there is no parking fee (compare the Entertainment Centre & Convention Centre, in Brisbane). The show kept the whole family totally engaged – you can take the kids and grandma. As a guide, there aren’t any moments where you wish you’d not brought grandma or kids – nothing that can’t be overcome with a quick pass of the chips and lemonade, according to discretion. [There’s nothing like say, Pink’s rendition of “I Touch Myself” in her last Australian concert, which had parents with children in attendance want to just die – for anyone who didn’t hear about it, you didn’t need to understand International Sign Language to get it – it followed more common conventions… And no, I didn’t take my kids to that one!]

Don’t miss the show. Book here.

P.S. The “Learn to Burn” instructional dance DVD is pretty good for total beginners, especially for those who’d prefer to stumble in private. It’s sold at the show.

Categories: Australia, Dance, Music, Review, Stage

La Spina invents heroic pop-era: Always You

August 26, 2010 2 comments

La Spina – Always You

A week after being released, there’s a new Aussie album at the top of the classical music charts. So, what about it, you may ask.

“Always You” is the first album by La Spina: Rosario La Spina and younger sister, Anna-Maria. What’s interesting, is that Rosario is an accomplished operatic tenor and Anna-Maria, a pop diva. They’ve combined their styles and creative energies into this highly original album, complete with 65-piece Melbourne Symphony Orchestra…. Bizarre to purists perhaps, but quite beautiful and more accessible to those who aren’t so staunch in their classical music consumption. But then, I own an expensive Shih Tzu-Poodle cross and a generic black cat: cross-over suits me fine.

Nine of the thirteen tracks are original. Anna-Maria has started to come into her own with writing music, as well as performing it. She showed talent early on: while the rest of us at Mt Alvernia College in Brisbane, squeaked out our Hail Marys and volunteered each other to the ex-nuns for the next liturgical dance opportunity, Anna-Maria was belting out songs with a strength and maturity that was simply astounding. She was even on tv and won “Star Search” aged 17. Big back then, much bigger now. Anna-Maria toured with Savage Garden and worked alongside many internationally acclaimed artists. If her brother, Rosario, is called “the Australian Pavarotti”, then Anna-Maria is probably a more soulful “Australian Celine Dion” or maybe Streisand, or maybe Cher. It’s a big voice and it doesn’t readily compare to most pop princesses.

The album itself mostly comprises stadium-sized sounds: you could open the next FIFA World Cup or Olympics with a bang this big. It’s not tea and scones music.

To list a few of the songs:-
I love “The Prayer” – stunningly beautiful, is all I can say.
“Heavenly” is motivational … “in every cloud your rainbow waits”. The ex-nuns would be proud.
“Time to Say Goodbye” – will make your hair stand up on your arms.
“Vivere” – gosh, if they put this at the end of a Stuart Little or Lion King type kids’ movie, there wouldn’t be an adult in the cinema with dry eyes.
“Always You” is lovely in Italian and English.
“I Wish I’d Never Known” could’ve been written for a Roman Polanski film.
“Everyday” is easy to listen to and harks back to its pop origins. This could be remixed as commercial pop.

La Spina’s take on Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills” would be fabulous to crank up on full volume to encourage door-knockers to move on, quickly.

Give it a go.

Categories: Australia, Music

LOL: Because Mothering is Hard (video)

Miss 6 is showing an unhealthy interest in becoming an industrial chemist. This is the second time she’s mixed my bathroom products, more precisely, my (won’t admit how much it cost me) clear eye gel, which looks great now with sparkly blue toothpaste in it.

I’m posting this video today because it’s a safe way to express the challenges of being a mother, rather than ranting about how much I loved that eye gel … I shall go cry in my cappuccino now. Enjoy the show. You need about 5 minutes.

Have iPod Touch, Will Travel

July 26, 2010 1 comment

Reader JB is soon to travel overseas with three children and wonders how to keep them entertained for the long haul flights, without the added worry of extra baggage and lost game cartridges.

Having given this some thought, and having consulted with The Auntie Who Thinks of Everything, I believe this to be the solution:

Exhibit A is an iPod Touch, in a flip-case, attached to a comfy fluffy laynard and with a zippered purse attached containing earphones. No game cartridges, just downloaded applications. No lost earphones. No misplaced iPod. Music, games and educational apps all in one place. How’s that?

The laynard and case came from a mobile phone accessory store, and the purse I already had from a kids’ lip balm set (but zippered coin purses can be bought just about anywhere).

Enjoy your trip, JB! Hope this helps.


I forgot to mention, that the way to get two people using one iPod Touch, is to buy earphones with the capacity to plug in a friend’s earphones (such as the ones in the photo, bought from Target). Alternatively, you can buy an adaptor such as the one from Smiggle (“Heart Hub“) which allows two single user earphones to be connected.

While I’m at it, check out the new app, “Baby Animals”. It’s great for kids of all ages (adapt its use accordingly). It has pictures of every animal you can think of and quizzes and information about them all. Great for long trips and school projects … and long waits in doctors’ surgeries ….

Categories: Music, Parenthood, Products, Travel