Category Archives: Adelaide

Support Format

In recent weeks a typical Adelaide question is “been to any Fringe stuff?” and my typical answer has been “no, spending all my time at Format”. The Format Festival this year was excellent, so I’d like to say thanks to all of the Format Collective people for all the hard work they put into it, and to encourage people to join me in donating to help them going for the rest of year as the venue is still there outside of festival time and puts on all sort of events (some of the best gigs in town, art exhibitions, zine store, egg eating …)

My highlights of the festival:
– opening night, absolutely amazing sets by Terrible Truths and Fair Maiden in particular. These bands need to put out albums. And play more gigs.
– An Evening For Home For the Def – I got interviewed in front of an audience by Nigel Koop. How the hell did that happen? And even more strangely I played a live music set that was not a disaster. Some people even liked it. Meanwhile upstairs my soon-to-be housemate built a snow globe so big you could walk into it. I’m still terribly confused by the whole evening, but in a good way.
– Nobody turned up to see Alps, Fkn Tutts, Sarah Chadwick and Bare Grillz because it was raining. I don’t care because I was there and they were all awesome, and the Alps LP I bought (Alps of New South Wails) is great.
– Sunday picnic – nice relaxed arvo gig with Aluka and Soursop.
– Format Festival of Song part 3 with Ainslie Wills and Cheer Advisory Council, wonderful evening of guitar pop.
– Hipster Gateaux: yet another great gig, Melbourne’s Super Wild Horses and new locals Deep Feelings were both great.
– Closing Party … I didn’t want it to end and I don’t think anyone else did either judging by the fact that it was will into the early hours of Sunday morning and people were sticking around even though the bar had closed some time earlier. Yet another top lineup, locals Like Leaves have played some great sets lately (in fact it was the second time that week I’d seen them), but it was a nice change to see them in such an intimate venue. The highlight of the night however was Collarbones. I really love all of the garage rock type stuff that we get from most interstate touring bands lately, but it was a nice change to have something completely different in the form of the glitch pop of Collarbones, who I knew previously from a show in Sydney last year. Lots of fun.
– And then there was the handball. For two weeks it became normal to be playing handball in Peel St at 1 in the morning, a game I haven’t played regularly in about 20 years. It was great getting the touring bands into it (e.g. the guys from Bare Grillz took to it enthusiastically), as well as many bemused passers-by. By the final night the standard was very high, we even had an official adjudicator (the security guy, who only learnt the rules at the opening night party), in the end the official competition didn’t take place but I reckon Hugh Langlands-Bell was clearly the unofficial winner.

There’s more stuff coming up at format including gigs by Siltbreeze label band Eat Skull and a launch by Rites Wild both in April, so join me in supporting them through Pozible (link below) to help them keep going.

Adelaide in 1940

I’ve always liked maps (I reckon my favourite book when I was about 6 was a Sydney Street Directory), so I was interested to find this 1940 Fuller’s Adelaide street directory online.
I think anyone familiar with Adelaide will find it interesting to have a browse through some of the maps, here’s a few things I noticed:

  • The extent of the tram system. I hadn’t realised there was such a large tram system in Adelaide, I note that in my area (St Peters) there was even a tram down 6th Avenue. In fact the majority of current day bus routes out of the city (major exception being the O-Bahn) are old tram routes.
  • Frome St didn’t exist. Frome Rd ends in a T-junction at Nth Tce Rundle St (actually, Frome ends on Nth Tce but goes straight onto another street through to Rundle). It seems that Frome St was put together from various small cross streets at some later point.
  • People complain now about East-West streets changing name, but it was even worse – Pulteney and Morphett streets both had different names on the South end of town. Lots of main roads around the city changed names along their routes as well (e.g. present day Greenhill Rd or South Rd )
  • So many suburbs. If you think Adelaide has too many tiny suburbs now, it was much worse back then. There are many extra suburb names that are no longer in use.
  • Goodwood Rd doesn’t connect to Ayliffe’s Rd, it just splits into a confusing maze of winding streets at the end!
  • The area around Waterfall Gully looks a bit strange – Wyatts Rd comes through what is now a park to connect to Waterfall Gully Rd (which is plausible), but then extends to connect up with the top of Dashwood in what would be a rather improbably steep road by my reckoning. Similarly there is an extension of cross rd that goes dead straight until it connects with Mt Osmond Rd at the top of Mt Osmond … I’m suspecting that some of these roads might not be quite accurate.

Zero Carbon 2020 Stationary Energy Plan – Adelaide Launch

The Beyond Zero Emissions organisation have developed a plan to meet Australia’s energy needs using renewable energy and only making use of existing technology. You can read details here or hear about it at the Adelaide launch which is to be held at Elder Hall at the University of Adelaide on Friday December 3rd at 6pm. Event details here. The featured speakers are

  • Mark Ogge, Communications Director at Beyond Zero Emissions and originator of the Zero Carbon Australia concept
  • Cr Eddie Hughes, Whyalla City Council
  • A/Prof. John Spoehr, Economist, University of Adelaide
  • Patrick Hearps, lead author Zero Carbon Australia Plan

Omar Souleyman to play WOMADelaide

Womadelaide have announced a small preview of their lineup for 2011, and I am really pleased to see that it includes Omar Souleyman. I only recently got one of his cds and on listening to it my immediate thought was “I really hope that he’ll be at WOMAD next year” though I really wasn’t too sure of how likely it would be. There’s been quite a few gig-related disappointments lately so it’s great to have some good gig news for Adelaide.

The lineup so far is Afro Celt Sound System, Alan Kelly Quartet, Angus and Julia Stone, Creole Choir of Cuba, Hanggai, Nitin Sawhney, Omar Souleyman, Rajendra Prasanna, Rango

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Walk Against Warming

While the major parties are bickering over who will stop the boats (see this blog for a couple of great posts on this issue, also see the latest Media Watch for the sort of ignorant bigotry they are pandering to, and the refugee council of Australia for more info, and the graph at the bottom of this post *), they are ignoring climate change. Sadly it hasn’t gone away though, see the following links:

Climate Progress on unprecedented hot weather in Russia.

Michael Tobis on how much this can be attributed to AGW.

Watching the Deniers on the extent of the tragedy in Russia.

Hot Topic on the massive island of ice that broke off Greenland.

This Sunday you can get out to remind the major parties that climate change is still an issue by taking part in the Walk Against Warming, it’s at 11am at Victoria Square.

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* This graph is from Crikey, and is by Robert Corr

DJ set next Sunday (25/7)

Just a reminder that I’ll be doing my monthly DJ set next Sunday, July 25th at the Metro on Grote St. I’ll be on from around 4-7pm. No theme this time, but since last time was largely instrumental (post-rock & jazz) I might lean towards songs this time. I play there on the 4th Sunday every month (except for a special event in September on the 3rd Sunday … more about that later, but here’s a hint)

Bakesale at Format

This Saturday May 15 there’s a bakesale at Format, 15 Peel St city. Not only can you get delicious baked goods, they have craft as well! And it’s all for a good cause, to raise money to keep Format going. In case you haven’t been there, Format is a fantastic space where they have great gigs, art exhibitions, a zine store and various other events that help to make Adelaide an interesting place, so they deserve your support. Go there this Saturday between 1 and 5pm. Details about Half Baked ( … Half Craft) at Five Thousand.

Five Thousand

Now there is another way to find out what’s happening in Adelaide besides reading Le Rayon Vert – which, given the sporadic updates and frequent mistaken listings is admittedly not that great for knowing what’s happening anyway. You can go to Five Thousand where you can read about what’s happening in music, art, cinema and … um, mini golf, amongst many other things. Go check it out, they have some good people writing reviews, and you can sign up to get it regularly in email too. You should still visit here as well though.

2010 Adelaide Cinémathèque

It’s about time I wrote something about the 2010 Adelaide Cinémathèque which is now well under way. For those who aren’t familiar with it the Cinémathèque is a film club based at the Mercury Cinema on Morphett St. They have a program running each year from the end of March up until mid December consisting of a great variety of films usually grouped into session of 3 or 4 films which are linked by a particular theme. There are two films per week, they show each Monday and Thursday at 7:30pm. Due to the conditions under which they get access to the films (as a film club), they cannot sell single tickets, instead you have to become a member. This is easy, you just fill in a form and pay for either 4 films ($35/$25 concession), 16 films ($70/$50) or an annual membership for $99/$80 – this can be great value, I got an annual membership last year for the first time and went to about 25 films.

To give you an idea of the variety on offer, some of the highlights for me last year were:

Distant Voices, Still Lives a compelling drama by English filmmaker Terence Davies who I wasn’t previously familiar with, Russian Sci-fi classic Solaris, some big screen epics – Lawrence of Arabia and Gone With the Wind, a Sam Peckinpah series including his masterpiece The Wild Bunch, a series by one of my very favourite directors Ingmar Bergman, Starstruck – a crazy 80’s Australian film set about a band competition which was very silly and lots of fun, the rare Cool World with it’s ultra-realist take on 60’s new york teenage gangs, some brilliant and completely different animations including the obscure Australian film Grendel Grendel Grendel , a witty retelling of Beowulf from the point of view of the monster, and the disturbing and essential Waltz with Bashir, an account of one person’s attempt to regain memories of their part in the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. There were also some hilarious Cary Grant comedies, but the last program I saw was possibly my favourite of the whole year as I was introduced to the genius of Jaques Tati. In particular Play Time is an absolute masterpiece.

And then there’s all the things that I can’t believe I missed, such as Aguirre and the Kurosawa program and lots more.

This year’s program is available here, go and have a browse through it, there’s plenty of great stuff there. As usual a great variety of genres, and mix between popular classics and rarely seen obscurities.

Based on tonight’s Jaques Demy film (which is not renowned as one of his best but was nevertheless excellent) it should be worth catching the remaing films in the current series. I’m also keen on seeing the amazing Baraka on the big screen again,
The online program goes only to July but there will be films from then right up to December, the full program for the second half of the year will be announced towards the end of the current one (memberships continue to the second half of the year).