Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Moving pictures

Sorry for the youtube onslaught in lieu of actual content, but how pretty is this: some of the earliest colour motion picture film ever shot. It's so intriguing to see the fancy ladies from black and white photos come to life. With the music it almost seems like an ad for the new season of some hipster fashion label...


Because if you don't say it via Facebook status update then it's just not worth saying.

Whiskers and paws

Get a load of these perfect late 60s film posters! I picked out a series of mad cat ones (obviously, do you not know me at all?!), but there's all kinds of Eastern European vintage print loveliness to look at (and purchase!) at Terry Posters.

One day I will line my sunny dining room wall with these and my life will be complete.

Monty: a retrospective

On the radio

Here's a snippet of the band's first live-on-breakfast-radio performance from yesterday morning! NB not much of actual live performance to see, but there's an interview with Laura and my housie Justin (me and my fear of microphones scampered away when it was time for the interview, you can catch a glimpse of me in the background chatting to the cute photographer), and they also play one of our new songs in the background and a bit at the end. Here's a recording of two ballads we played, also. Worth getting up at 6am for? Definitely.

On the sixth day

I tagged along with Craig to his early morning rehearsal in an inner-city cottage slash recording studio which had 10 keyboards, a baby grand and a coffee machine and thus was pretty much my ideal place of residence.

Jamie picked me up down the street and drove me down to Seacliff to take photos of models wearing his band's merch shirts. Lessons were learnt: overcast days really take the photographic cake, I need to get better at making people feel comfortable in front of the camera, knock-knock jokes help.

I was delivered back in the city with $100 in my back pocket and the whole of the central markets to spend it in. Chinatown was looking brilliant with the cherry blossoms out so I loitered in the sunshine for a bit taking photos.

Wandering round the stalls and waiting for my lunch-mates to join me, I took photos that made it look like people were wearing banana-hats like some caribbean cruise performer.

Lasagne was consumed and dinner were ingredients purchased and then it was hometime, where the dining-room sunlight was hitting the dusty upright just so.

Then, a lazy laptop afternoon. I had my first tangelo and it was a revelation: way sweet, way juicy, easy to peel and eat by hand. Oranges are dead to me!

Korma for tea and off to my parents for homemade sorbet and a cuppa and company with the cat. He is the subject of around 60% of the conversation. He wouldn't have it any other way.

Photo journal

After the last entry I thought it might be cool to have a non-private space where I could do more photo-heavy posts that all my friends can access, seeing as I'm starting to get a teeny amount of work from posting photos up on Facebook. My plan was for a halfway point between Flickr (not great for story-telling), Facebook (photos look shithouse), my portfolio (more for design work), and this blog (I want to keep this semi-private and use it more for writing).

So, meet my new photo journal. Have a look before I decide it's tomfoolery to start another online presence to nurture (because I'll end up posting the exact same content 5 times in 5 different places) and take it down.

With the road as my only friend

Look! A film clip I made with Laura for her song 'By My Side'. It's a ballad about being on the road, and surprisingly it's still my favourite song off the album, despite me now associating it with getting frustrated at iMovie.

We filmed on our girls weekend away for a gig in the Barossa, ducking into pretty country lanes and antique shops and whatever caught our eye, and then a week later on a magically sunny late-winter afternoon by the beach (with supplementary singing shots in my bedroom when the light was right). I loved improvising like that. The editing process was enjoyable too. It slowly comes together, you show other people who have a fresh take, you have a few magical AHA! moments, you show more people, you refine refine refine, and then release it from your computer and feel overwhelmed and relieved when others say they like it too.

October 15

12:47am and I'm drifting off in the laptop glow amongst piles of clothes and books on my bed (debris from a failed attempt to clean my room earlier in the day). It's messy up there but the weight on my legs is nice and it's only me and I'm in the lavish mood of smug entitlement you get when you know you're presently only accountable to yourself. One more facebook scrabble move before sleep and there's a message in the chat box next to the board usually saved for smack-talk: "I'm sure this is the best place to say it: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"


The ridiculous smug entitlement continues through the morning. I have a longer shower and use extra leave-in conditioner BECAUSE IT'S MY BIRTHDAY. I download 3 albums BECAUSE IT'S MY BIRTHDAY. My housemate has left a giant Haigh's chocolate frog for me and I eat it for breakfast BECAUSE IT'S MY BIRTHDAY. I cut my wrist on the edge of the gold foil, but my classy housemate wrapped the whole shebang in baking paper and band-aids, so I peel one off and stick it on the cut then and there. This sequence of events makes me giggle all morning and I think about karma and that 'no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should' quote (but not too hard).


It's cold and wet with blustery wind, and I'm dubious about hazy plans to meet a friend at a mall across town for band-project-related shopping, but I have been discovering excuses to be antisocial all week and it must stop. I will wait for a bus in the rain and I will enjoy it BECAUSE IT'S MY BIRTHDAY. It starts hailing. I am smiling though, because only yesterday I was lamenting the sudden return of 35 degree sunshine, and it's becoming ever clear to me how lucky I am that the difference between having a nice time and a terrible one can be controlling a few electrical impulses in my brain.


The restorative delights of trying on dresses, talking about weddings, stationery, eyeshadow, 50s bathing suits. The nice realisation my friend didn't need me to help her shop for the project; she knew I was alone, she wanted to keep me company on my birthday. The nagging realisation I hesitate doing this for others thanks to a mixture of shyness, laziness and not wanting to interfere. Craig calls; he is in the Netherlands, I am in Cheap As Chips, and it's the first we've spoken in a week and a half. There's enough time lag over the line to give the impression of awkward pauses. He is tired enough to give the impression that touring Europe and playing to sold out crowds isn't all it's cracked up to be. Both are false impressions, I am sure, but they unsettle me slightly.


We're seated in an art deco cinema amidst the dull roar of 750 women who like seeing Julia Roberts movies. The lights dim and Julia Roberts and her teeth are sad in New York, hungry in Italy, pensive in India, and contented in Bali, whilst we are asked to care. All around me there are sniffles at the wedding dance and nervous laughter when a father kisses his son goodbye on the lips, and all I'm thinking is PORN PORN PORN THIS IS A SHALLOW GRATUITOUS PORN FLICK DRESSED UP AS ONE ABOUT LOVE AND SPIRITUALITY. PORRNNNN. Laura asks for my thoughts, and I know how much the book means to her, so I say it was... sweet, how about you? She didn't like it.


I come home to 40 or so facebook messages and I'm happy happy happy. Yes, it's easier to tap away a few simple words and click a picture of a thumbs up than it is to give someone a call or send a card. But you are still thinking of someone and letting them know of it, and that small joy of human connection can't be dismissed.

In which I laugh at the word 'balls'

For your next trip to the zoo, it's a good idea to take a friend who can provide excellent comedy voices in a UK accent

Classy digs

This is my new workplace. Needless to say, I'm pretty happy about it.

Urban sketcher

"I did this sketch on three consecutive mornings before heading to work." - Paul Heaston, Urban Sketchers.

Uhh, pretty inspiring. The most I achieve every morning before work is finding my keys in time to catch the bus. The rest of the website is a really captivating look at how artistic types see their surrounds.


I've never wanted to live in a set of pictures so badly.

Penelope Durston's Melbourne Home on The Design Files.

Christmas Eve

Reflective peaceful floaty songs for sitting alone on a big bed in a candlelit room while your boyfriend is out gigging and your housemate is watching Scrubs and you're eating curry on toast and thinking about friends near and far and new and old, and how much more of an authentic presence in their lives (and not least your own) you want to be in the new year.

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My contract at the castle on the hill is finished for the year, and while there will be a new one waiting for me in 2011, I'm perhaps not as excited as I would be in normal circumstances, thanks to this incident last month.

I was walking through the train station when a vaguely familiar-looking guy (late-20s, sparse beard, jittery, check pants, oily skin) appeared from nowhere.

VAGUELY FAMILIAR-LOOKING GUY [apologetic, stuttering]: Excuse me, look, I'm terribly sorry to bother you, but I recognise your face from somewhere and it's really bugging me that I can't remember... I'm so sorry to hassle you like this.

Slight warning bells go off. Dude, Adelaide's small, you see people you recognise all the time. If you're so worried about approaching me... don't. But whatever, it's always nice to be nice, so I stopped to talk.

We figured out that he'd come to the last concert by my uni students. There was a bit of chit chat; about the concert, about our respective jobs, a polite exchange of names, and a seriously nerdy attempt at flirtation (he promised me a deep discount if I ever dropped by his antiquarian bookshop).

It was all fine. Apart from seeming oddly enthusiastic, I figured he was ultimately harmless, especially as I hardly ever catch the train anymore. Not a problem.



PHONE: *ring ring*

ME: Good Morning, [NAME OF WORK], Hannah speaking.

VOICE OF VAGUELY FAMILIAR-LOOKING GUY: Er. Hi. It's ______ ringing from ______ Antiquarian books.

ME [to self]: Motherf...

ME [aloud, through gritted teeth]: Hi. Yes?

Part of his confused premise was that a customer had ordered a book about our building and he was ringing to get more information. Such a book, to my knowledge, does not exist. He rattled off a few staff names that he could have easily gotten from the website to make himself sound more legit, then asked what the organisation did, and may he speak to whoever coordinated the volunteers, because he was quite interested in volunteering?

Guess what my role as listed on the work website is.

So I finally let on that yes, that's me, I'm Hannah, and then came the inevitable.

VAGUELY FAMILIAR-LOOKING GUY: .... Oh. Right. Um... I didn't by any chance... Did I meet you in the train station yesterday? Was that you?

ME [trying to hide the sarcasm]: What. Are. The. Chances. Amazing, huh?

Unfortunately, my automatic phone manner is all polished, congenial professionalism, so I had to be nice for as long as it took to "add his details to our list" (yeah, right) and then pretend another call was coming through, leaving me a little peeved and more than slightly shaken.

I mean, this guy stopped me in public, remembered where I mentioned I worked (STUPID ME), looked up our website, found my name and position on the staff list, concocted a half-baked series of lies to talk to me, and then actually followed through! Unless it was a genuine coincidence, but every instinct of mine screams STALKER! STALKER! RUN FOR THE HILLS!

Maybe he picked up on the annoyance in my voice, or maybe he found my panicked Facebook status update about being stalked by a stalky stalker, but I haven't heard from him since, and I hope it stays that way.

I should probably stop being nice to dweebs.

Foolish child

Laura and Alice and I went away to play shows for a few weeks over New Years: down the limestone coast to Portland, then across Victoria's surf coast. Here's a few tour moments...

- Breaking down (sort of not really) and debuting a new song (and guitar) in a paddock.

- Fireside acoustic session: an old song for a future daughter.

Mix masters

I like recording. I like the challenge of being pushed musically and having to use a careful blend of nerves and relaxation to rise to the occasion and come up with something you want to listen to again. Going into the studio slightly under-prepared didn't do much for the relaxation, but the whole point of demo recordings is that you can use them to see what needs improving. Which is a lot. But that's okay, the magical process of adding, taking away, and polishing the groove is one of my favourite things to do.

Here is the inevitable behind-the-scenes video.