Yes, it's Fringe time again! And yes, I'm in stuff. Only a couple of things - the work never stops for the Anarchist Guild Social Committee, after all - but if you're not inspired to attend or watch the Grand Final, I do have an alternative for your Saturday afternoon:

Shaolin Punk presents
Set List
An improvised music show starring cabaret superstar Karin Muiznieks (Give My Regards to Broady), rock’n'roll nerd Ben McKenzie (Science-ology) and musical impro genius Dan Walmsley (Musical Director, Impro Sundae).

A made-up band plays made-up songs written on the spot from your suggestions, in a different genre for each show.

Saturday afternoons during Fringe:
September 27 - Folk; October 4 - Jazz; October 11 - Rock
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM, Old Council Chambers, Trades Hall
Tickets $15 / $12; book at or get tickets at the Bella Union box office, Trades Hall
If you do like footy, then I also have you covered: come see the 2008 AFL Season Review on Tuesday night, September 30. 75 minutes of sketches, stand-up, song and otherwise hilarious footy nonsense at the New Ballroom, Trades Hall.
barrington: (Bill Bailey)
I bought an iPod. It's probably the loveliest piece of technology I have ever owned. Since my laptop is named Soundwave, I have named my iPod Ratbat and my iPhone Laserbeak. Nerds love naming things, don't we?

But this initiated my pending big project - moving my iTunes library from my old desktop PC (rarely used now) to my laptop. I have used the official Apple guide to doing so, along with this guide from blogger David Kadavy. It's not quite done yet, I'll let you know how I go!

I'm also a bit excited because I bought tickets for Bill Bailey's new show, Tinselworm. Should be a corker.

One last thing - if you've been meaning to come down and support The Crew, this Sunday would be an excellent time to do so. We won't be back for a while - not before November at the earliest - and we've been doing it tough, so your support would be appreciated. Details on the web site, as usual.

Well, the Festival is still giving me the time of my life. Last night I sold out for my show and had a great performance, and then when I cam back for Birdhouse it went off. A big crowd filled the room and everyone's performances were awesome. If you missed it, there are some great photos floating around the 'net. I think the ones behind the cut (if they still work...if not, check out Tim Chuma's awesome gallery) pretty much sum up one of the greatest moments in my life...
Why Does The Sun Shine? Because science rocks! )
I was tempted to stay and party afterwards, and did in fact have one drink and a bit of a boogie, but I have a gig this afternoon and my body is grateful that I didn't.

For all those of you on the Optus mobile network, I hope the outage last night didn't cause you as much grief as it did many of my friends last night. Everything seems fine now.

I haven't seen many more shows since my last post on the subject, but I have seen Tripod's How To Train An Attack Dog From Scratch. Very different from their usual stuff, but I thought it was hilarious. (I'm going to try and check out Idio Clips this Friday night.)

Here are a few things I haven't seen, but think would be good:
  • Xavier Michaelidis: What To Do When the Zombies Attack. I met Xavier yesterday, he's a funny guy and a great improviser so this should be great, especially if you like zombies.
  • Andy McClelland's Show Whose Title is Too Long and Rambly to Remember (it's not really called that). I'm desperately going to try and see this in the last week, though it being outside Trades Hall it might be a bit of a challenge.
  • Harley Breen in The Kingswood and I. Harley's one of my favourite stand-ups, I'm really looking forward to seeing him tonight.
For the record I'd like to point out that this description of last Sunday's trivia night is not very accurate. For one thing I joined "Casa Del Awesome" very late in the piece, as did many of the other members (and I will freely admit it's huge size may have given the team something of an advantage), but we had a small one or two point lead on Richard McKenzie and co (Lost in Inebreation) until the music round, when they zoomed ahead by about four or five points. Thinking all was lost, we foolishly decided to take on the optional super bonus hard question, which was worth four points, but docked you four for getting it wrong. We got it wrong - and lost by 3.5 points. A tale of tragedy indeed, but we took our chance and the better team won. Tonight I shall have my own team comprising some of the finest minds in comedy, and we shall take the prize or at least laugh an awful lot trying. Tonight's theme is Hawaii, so I'm taking a suitably loud shirt.
The Festival is consuming my life at the moment, but thankfully, there are some awesome upsides in the works. For starters, here's a date for your calendars: on April 21st, as part of Trade Aid, I'll be performing as part of BirdHouse, a tribute to the songs of They Might Be Giants. How cool is that? I'll be singing up there with Scott Edgar (of Tripod), Casey Bennetto (of the Drowsy Drivers), Tim Minchin (of Tim Minchin), Geraldine Quinn, Andy McClelland... It's going to rock! And it's all for charity: the proceeds benefiting the Asylum Seekers' Resource Group.

I bet you can guess one of the songs I'm going to sing. Go on, give it a shot. I'll give you a clue: someone else is doing Birdhouse in Your Soul.

Oh, and yeah, I have to do an obligatory plug: Science-ology is still on until April 29th. Plenty of tickets left at this stage, though if you want to come on a cheap Tuesday, you better book or buy tickets in advance, 'cos those nights are selling like hotcakes. (This coming Tuesday is already just about sold out.) I'm also performing with the Crew in Classic Impro Sundae (I'm hosting next Sunday, the 15th, at 8:30), Instant Order: Trial by Audience (had my first one last night - it's a great fun format), and Instant Musical Odyssey at Triple Trouble (got two of these coming up next week). Check out the Crew's line-ups for details!
Tenacious D, live at Festival Hall:

Jables (Jack Black), KG (Kyle Gass) and their Hellband comprising Colonel Sanders on drums, Charlie Chaplin on bass and the amazing Anti-Christ on lead electric wove songs from their original album and the new film soundtrack together into a cohesive, seamless narrative structure WHICH BLEW MY FUCKING MIND. - Ben McKenzie
I took the morning off work to finish my Expression of Interest proposal for a Hub venue in this year's Fringe. Realistically chances are slim, so it's time to start looking for somewhere else. And the festival isn't until September...

Caught up with Ian, which was awesome, and saw Scott Edgar and the Universe at 303 tonight. The guy is a genius. Actually, both of them are: Ian and Scott. Ian summed up the Universe with one of those "they're like a cross between x and y" comments, and I spent some time afterwards contemplating how accurate this was and also deciding that their sound was wholly unique, but that it intersected the other two bands. Whatever the case, they are exactly what I've been missing in the absence of those nights at Bar Humbug when Andy or Rob used to play. They were opening for Duckdive, who may be friends of friends, but they're too country for my tastes; they also had too many instruments for their arranging skills (they didn't seem to know what to do with them all, and subtlety was lost), and not enough metaphor or poetry in their lyrics. That's all very critical; I guess they're just not my thing.

House-hunting tomorrow. Man, it'd be nice to stay somewhere for more than a year, and to not move just after filling out the forms for the Fringe. Never mind. The next place will also be awesome. We have some time to find somewhere we really like, and if worst comes to worst, I have some backup plans.

The next two days are full of stuff. It's an exciting time to be alive, May 2006.
School Of Rock.

In case you hadn't heard, I'm in a production of Twelfth Night at the Trades Hall from December 10th to 13th. You should check out this entry for all the details, then book a ticket and come along.

The NGV is too big to be contained in a head which has been awake for 15 hours or more and only finished work 15 minutes earlier. I will return, though.

Every now and then, as a "meme" makes it's way around the place, I like to make up my own version. So, below are the questions about me I'd like you to answer, should the fancy take you. Interpretation is key. Feel free to get creative.

1. When were you first rocked by my power?
2. How can I be so fucking awesome all the time?
3. Who should I be listening to?
4. What the hell is my problem?
5. Why are you even answering these questions?

GAG Fest

Oct. 26th, 2003 01:48 pm
Last night was one of the best nights in my life. I went to the Ginormous Acoustic Guitar Festival at Bar Humbug; seven obscenely talented acts playing the finest in acoustic rock, jazz, was bliss. Rob Longstaff, organiser and performer, ranks among the most talented musicians I have ever heard, let alone been lucky enough to know. The remaining talent was no less impressive, with acts from Melbourne, Darwin and Brisbane. I ended up buying everyone's CDs, and sticking around with the artists afterwards to jam in the drunken morning as the clock ticked over from 1:59 to 3:00am and on.

Trii Raskasa is going well, with a sold-out opening, fluctuating but by no means empty houses since, and two strong performances. Early show tonight, then tomorrow the weirdness begins - the first of the short movie scenes with JMC, and the assessment piece at Deakin. Hopefully also the job interview I've been waiting to hear back about; it's call centre work, but customer service, and the hours and pay are good.

While I'm here, let me plug a couple of other shows going on at the moment or soon: first, my mate Scotty and a bunch of other talented lads star in Mojo, a heist comedy in the vein of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. It's at the Storeroom in Fitzroy, same dates and times as my show, but you'd better book - they've already had to turn people away. This is what I'd be seeing, except of course, I can't be in two places at once... Book on 03 9486 5651.

The other is Theatre In Decay's A Mile In Her Shadow, also at the Storeroom, opening late November. It's an exploration of depression constructed from first-hand experience, and featuring the usual level of talent from the Decay stables.
Sometimes, when you mess with one of these Journal things, you get a result which seems to you superior to the ones everyone else is getting. This is one of those times. Feel free to mix it up (ahem...) and leave a comment with the results.

The Potion Maker
barringtonium is a milky, pasty peach gel leeched from the brain of a Snark.
Mix with barrington! Username:
Yet another fun meme brought to you by rfreebern

Also, here's some Weird Al news from the official site for fans: Do you want to know more? )
Some people might know what rhubarb is, but me, well I think of Roobarb. And why not? Life is good. You know, since I was last here I've been working, sleeping, eating, rehearsing, drinking, listening to music (mostly Andy Gaunt, a guy I know, the Beatles, Barenaked Ladies, TISM, some Tori Amos, a group I took a punt on when I found their CD cheap called Antediluvian Rocking Horse (they're experimental, and weird), and best of all Jewel, who I'd forgotten was so awesome, though her new CD sounds like it's all dancey and she's lost her edges - I mean, this is the girl who wrote Pieces of You, Adrian and Who Will Save Your Soul, and now she has songs called things like Run 2 U and You & Me = Love...) You know, all the good stuff that human beings do. I have two new housemates, one of whom I already know (she's awesome) and another who seems really cool. I have found a job I really want, and all I need to do is convince the nice people of Darebin to let me help run their libraries. I think this is something within my mighty powers of persuasion. I have recently finished reading Ian Stewart's pretty good Flatterland and JK Rowling's meringue-like Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I've been playing Tropico 2: Pirate Cove, which is like plugging a cable into my head which is labelled "Give Ben Pirates" and flipping a big switch marked "On." Tomorrow is the first meeting of my next show, and rehearsals continue for the Hartwell Players season of short plays, which opens at the start of August. My friends are doing really well in theatre too, with Theatre In Decay rocking everyone's socks off with All of Which are American Dreams, and Ben Ellis continues his usual high standard of work on Falling Petals, which is also getting rave reviews. Next week is Eddie Izzard week - I'm ready, Julian! - and any week now, the best film ever made will come to meet my face in glorious colour: Pirates of the Caribbean. I could pretty much only be happier if I was making love right now, but hey, I'll get some of that in when the right girl comes along.

Oh, and I wrote some answers to those questions from Xian, but I spent about three hours editing and revising the bastard things and then saved them somewhere at work, so they'll be posted when I find them. Plus a big hello to the nice girl who added me as a friend, you seem to know the Morgatron (Hi Morgatron!) and Kate (Hi Kate!), so you must be cool. This post is dedicated to you.

Oh right, I almost forgot: there's this cool guy, maybe you've heard of him, he's named Richard E. Grant and he's the star of Withnail & I and he's the fucking new Doctor Who baby! Yeah. I almost forgot.

PS I decided you could all be lazy and looked up links for all the most interesting things I mentioned above, that's what the underlined bits are.

"I say, that when a thing completely surpasses my comprehension, I am accustomed not to dwell on that thing, but to pass to another. Is supper ready, Signor Pastrini?"


Feb. 22nd, 2002 02:44 pm
Music for film and television has always been a passion of mine; a good score can lift a good scene to greatness, but a bad one can throw everything off. Consequently, I was rather pleased to learn that the genius behind the score for Invader Zim, one Kevin Manthei, also produced the score for Vampire the Masquerade: Redemption, an otherwise merely average game but with a really great gothic/moody score. Better yet, if you visit his site, you can download snippets - I recommend the Invader Zim pieces, they're fantastic.

So what makes a good film/television score? To my mind, any number of things: perhaps it nicely underlines the mood of a scene, filling in the silence between the dialogue. Maybe it lays on top of excitement and action, getting you pumping by massaging your adrenal glands with sound waves. My favourite, though, is a score with the ability to evoke the same emotions and memories that you felt when originally watching the scene.
Rejoice ye lovers of fine musical comedy, for the Southern muse Bill Bailey is in town! The comedy festival is two months away, but here he is - two shows only, and I'm going to one of them. Woohoo!

(If you don't know about Bill Bailey, have a look online for the Insect Nation song - if it doesn't make you laugh, then I guess you can ignore this whole post. And, indeed, much of what I say, since my humour springs from a well connected to Bill's by an underground stream.)
It's exciting - not only have I just resolved to see more live entertainment, and not only did I pick up a Beat magazine to aid me, but I find that on tour in Melbourne this month is a Canadian folk(ish) singer who used to be a librarian. I figure she's got to be the show I need to see, so I'm off. Her band is Oh Susanna. She already sounds like just my kind of vocalist, with a nicely eclectic variety of influences.

More news after the show, unless I can't wait that long. In the meantime I'm going to check out some local folk acts and go to my friend Dave's wedding - the second of my friends to get married, and the first of what will probably be an infeasibly large number before the year is out.

February 2012

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